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Pfizer maintains drug supplies to Russia and halts new clinical trials

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Pfizer logo is placed next to drugs from the same manufacturer in this illustration
FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Pfizer logo is placed near drugs from the same manufacturer in this September 29, 2021 illustration. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

March 14, 2022

(Reuters) – US drugmaker Pfizer Inc said Monday it would maintain humanitarian supplies of medicines to Russia but refrained from starting new clinical trials in the country and refraining from recruiting patients for ongoing trials.

The Russian invasion has left drugmakers scrambling to find ways for patients taking part in clinical trials in Ukraine to receive their medicines, while millions seek shelter from bombing and flee to neighboring countries.

Russia has described its actions as a “special operation”.

Pfizer said it will work with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies to move all clinical trials to alternative sites outside of Russia. It will continue to make medicines available to patients already enrolled in trials.

A voluntary halt to the flow of medicines to Russia would be “a direct violation of our fundamental principle of putting patients first,” Pfizer said.

“Stopping the supply of medicines, including cancer or cardiovascular therapies, would result in significant patient suffering and potential deaths,” she added.

Western drugmakers and medical device makers have warned their plans to continue selling products to Russia could be complicated by the sanctions imposed on the country.

The sanctions skipping medicines and medical devices have cut off Russian banks from the international financial system, disrupting the flow of goods into the country.

Global companies like McDonald’s, Nestle and Sony have decided to pull out of Russia as consumer pressure mounts in the West to oppose the invasion.

Pfizer said it will donate all profits from its in-country unit to causes that support the people of Ukraine.

Pfizer, which does not own or operate any manufacturing facilities in Russia, said it will halt any planned investments in local suppliers aimed at building manufacturing capacity in the country.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Anil D’Silva)

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Bobby Allyn

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