Friday, May 7, 2021

EU sues AstraZeneca after delaying vaccine delivery


27 countries of the European Union ordered 300 million doses of the Kovid-19 vaccine British-swedish The drugmaker will be given by the end of June, an option to purchase an additional 100 million. But vaccine deliveries continued to fall short, a bitter public fight over the terms of the contract.

AstraZeneca said that in March the goal was to send a total of 100 million doses to the union in the first half of the year, which was expected.

“This action is due to the continued breach of the terms of the contract and the lack of a credible strategy by the company to ensure timely supply of vaccines under the current circumstances,” European Commission spokesman Stephen de Kirschmacher said on Monday.

The European Commission filed its lawsuit in Brussels on Friday, according to de Kersemacher. There will be a preliminary hearing on Wednesday. Block said last week it would not exercise its option to purchase an additional 100 million doses.

AstraZeneca, in a statement, denied dissolving its contract and said it “regrets” the European Commission’s decision to initiate legal action.

“After an unprecedented year of scientific discovery, very complex negotiations and manufacturing challenges, our company is about to deliver 50 [million] According to our forecast, the dose for European countries by the end of April.

He said, “AstraZeneca has fully complied with the advance purchase agreement with the European Commission and will defend itself in court. We believe any litigation is without merit and we will resolve the dispute as soon as possible.” We welcome this opportunity. “

The trial could mark the beginning of a long court battle.

Full, unproven contract between the European Commission and AstraZeneca – First published by Italian broadcaster RAI – Includes a clause that appears to exempt the company from legal action for delays in delivery.

But European Commission officials previously said they believed the company was acting against the spirit of the contract, signaling AstraZeneca to succeed in the United Kingdom, while meeting its goals for the bloc Failed to do.

“What matters to us in this case, is that we want to ensure that there is a speedy delivery of the adequate amount of doses that European citizens are entitled to, and which is promised on a contract basis,” D. said. Kersemaker supported this action by adding all 27 countries.

The lawsuit for AstraZeneca is the latest in a string of problems. The way it presented its clinical trial data in Europe in the first phase of the pandemic, and recently the company came under scrutiny in the United States.

Drug regulator decisions in many European nations delayed recommending the shot for older adults, as the lack of test data in those age groups may have contributed to hesitation in taking the vaccine in parts of the continent.

And reports of the occasional fatal but sometimes fatal blood clot after use of the vaccine in younger adults have prompted some countries to restrict its use to only older members of their population. Some countries, such as Denmark, have completely eliminated the use of the vaccine.

AstraZeneca will release its first quarter financial results on Friday.

Lindsay Issac of CNN contributed to this report.

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