A consumer rights advocacy group has released a report revealing that COVID vaccine producer Pfizer has secret government contracts and used power to 'shift risk and maximize profits.'
Pfizer has 73 formalized deals for its COVID-19 vaccine but of those, only five have been formally published by governments and include 'significant redactions,' Public Citizen found.
The seven known contracts reviewed by Public Citizen are worth more than $5 billion.
The advocacy group - which gained access to several leaked, unredacted contracts - claims the Manhattan-based pharmaceutical giant's contracts 'consistently place Pfizer's interests before public health imperatives.'
The report accuses Pfizer of including secret language blocking donations of its own doses, opposing an intellectual property waiver that could have allowed for the sharing of technology, having 'unilateral authority for other decisions' and more.
Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine - the first to receive emergency use authorization in the U.S. - has become the most popular worldwide, with 3.5 billion doses purchased.
Experts predict its sales to double in 2022, the Washington Post reported.
Due to the fact that information in several contracts remains redacted, it is unknown exactly what the total cost of all agreements are.
The details and obligations outlined in numerous contracts also remain undisclosed.
Experts allege that secret contracts poises risks to others.
'Hiding contracts from public view or publishing documents filled with redacted text means we don't know how or when vaccines will arrive, what happens if things go wrong and the level of financial risk buyers are absorbing,' Tom Wright, research manager at the Transparency International Health Program, said.