Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Canada's vaccine secrecy undermines confidence

Canada’s secret COVID-19 vaccine contracts hinder the fight to boost vaccine confidence, researchers say | Toronto Star - Omar Mosleh:

May 25, 2021 - "Canada, unlike its southern neighbour, is keeping secret the details of its vaccine contracts with big pharma, including what they’re paying for doses — and experts say that’s a problem in the fight to build confidence with the public and contain vaccine hesitancy. 

"As part of a study in vaccine clinical trial and procurement transparency by the University of Toronto and Transparency International, Canada is being called on by researchers to be more forthcoming with details on the total cost and price per dose for COVID-19 vaccines in a bid to ensure fair pricing globally, instill trust with the public and counter hesitancy....

Although Canada did relatively well in making its clinical study reports available, as one of only two countries to do so out of nine that were examined, the study found Canada to be part of an alarming trend of governments censoring key details of their orders from drug companies, or not releasing them at all. 

"'The government is not being forthcoming with how much it’s paying, what it’s negotiating and why,' said Jillian Kohler, co-author of the study and a professor at the University of Toronto Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. 'There is no barrier in terms of making this public,' she added. 'It’s just a political decision to do so.'

"Kohler said secrecy is common in the pharmaceutical industry to protect its interests, but the global pandemic is opportunity to provide more transparency.

"'The pharmaceutical industry tends to be a secretive industry and that’s because of market dynamics, concerns about their branding, et cetera,' Kohler said. 'But that’s an outdated model that doesn’t work for building trust.'"

Read more: https://www.thestar.com/politics/provincial/2021/05/25/todays-coronavirus-news-may-25-2021-gta-toronto-canada.html

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