We’re pleased to inform you that MSF Access Campaign and the Third World Network is organizing a panel discussion on ‘Pharma Corporations Demand Indemnity in Lieu of mRNA Vaccine Supply in India: Legal and Ethical Issues’ on 23rd June, 2021 (tomorrow) from 4 pm to 5:30 pm (IST). For further details, please see the announcement below.
In the last few months, we have seen that the Government of India has been trying to negotiate a deal with foreign vaccine manufacturers to supply their mRNA vaccines in India. However, pharmaceutical corporations like Pfizer and Moderna have been putting pressure on the Government and demanding broad indemnity clauses in the Government of India contract for purchase in exchange for the supply of the vaccines to India.
Many governments have been reluctant to sign the indemnity clauses, a pre-condition for Pfizer Inc to supply its vaccine that goes far beyond the demands of the other vaccine manufacturers. According to a recent report, Pfizer asked Latin American countries for broad ranging indemnity from civil cases before supplying the life-saving vaccine. In simple words, the U.S. Corporation will not be responsible for paying any compensation for any adverse effects arising out of the vaccine and shall be exempt from any liability resulting from any legal action.
The demand for indemnity has brought up numerous legal and ethical issues such as:
Indemnity: What legal liabilities does the indemnity clause waive off for vaccine suppliers?
Mechanism to compensate those who suffer rare but serious/life-threatening adverse events: Issuing indemnity to vaccine makers will mean the burden of compensating for severe Adverse Effect Following Immunisation (AEFI) will shift to government. Is there a legal mechanism in place to receive complaints and requests for compensating the same?
Demand for dispute resolution outside of Indian courts: After demands of waiver of bridging trials, advance payment, and indemnity, Pharma Corporations are now insisting that any dispute that may arise should be settled outside India, which most likely will be foreign jurisdiction-based arbitration. What does this meant for people who are affected by serious/life-threatening adverse events and the Government of India?
Against this backdrop, Médecins Sans Frontières—Access Campaign and the Third World Network is organizing a panel discussion to discuss the above issues.
Anand Grover, Sr. Advocate; Former UN Rapporteur
Murali Neelakantan, Principal Lawyer, Amicus
Dr Amar Jesani, Independent Researcher, Bioethics and Public Health
Leena Menghaney, Global IP Advisor, MSF Access Campaign
Date & Time
23rd June 2021
4 pm – 5.30 pm (Indian Standard Time)
Kindly register in advance here: https://bit.ly/3iY7ELo
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.