Pfizer: Millions of $ spent on government lobbying
There is no doubt that anti Covid vaccines have enjoyed excellent publicity, in some cases even too generous. Presented as the only possible salvation that should have wiped out the virus in a short time, little has been resolved after a year and a half from their release.
However, it was found that their effectiveness was far lower than what the pharmaceutical companies had initially announced. A product that falls short of expectations should be considered a flop, yet covid vaccines continue to be approved by drug regulatory agencies and states sign millionaire contracts.
How do drug companies manage to be so successful? The answer is only one: lobbying. This is the activity that large companies conduct in the shadow of the institutions, in an attempt to influence the legislative process for their own benefit. Well, in this particular sector Pfizer seems to have been very busy in the last two years, investing a large amount of money that today seems to have paid off more than well, guaranteeing the monopoly position of the market.
Pfizer has sold vaccines all over the world and therefore its lobbying activity is multinational. Particular attention was paid to the United States. According to data reported by the US Senate, Pfizer has spent $ 25 million on lobbying from 2020 to date, paid to 19 companies specializing in this activity.
Among these we find the names of the main companies in the sector, of which the majority are based in Washington just a stone's throw from the White House, so as to make it easier to organize meetings with state officials. Like the Washington Tax & Public Policy Group and The Group, which also has armaments company Lockeed Martin in its client portfolio.
However, Pfizer had moved in time and had watched with particular attention to the evolution of the last presidential elections, focusing on the winning candidate. In total, Pfizer had invested 3.5 million dollars for the 2020 US elections, 351 thousand of which went to Joe Biden's presidential campaign. For Trump, on the other hand, he had reserved a more modest sum of 105 thousand dollars.
And so in America, Big Pharma's business was booming. For example, the FDA recently announced that new data on clinical trials will no longer be required for new anti-covid vaccines, but will rely on existing ones.
Pfizer's influence also extends overseas and finds fertile ground in the European Union. The transparency register adopted in Brussels is the document that allows us to understand how the company has moved in the last period. Among Pfizer's lobbying objectives is the will to change the legislative framework on drugs in the Union, promote anti Covid vaccines and support the mysterious HERA project. Pfizer employs five people to do this, three of whom are employed full time within the corridors of Brussels. Cost of the activity? 1.5 million euros for the year 2021 alone.
It can also be noted that in the consultations in which Pfizer took part, the composition of the participants has always been biased towards the private sector, in particular large companies. Small businesses, citizens and trade unions represent but a small minority within these consultations.
It must also be said that all this falls within the regulated lobbying activity, then there is the submerged one, which exists and how. We know, for example, of the existence of an exchange of Whatsapp messages between Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Conversations that concerned nothing less than the signing of the contracts for the anti Covid vaccines. Now those messages are gone. What we know is therefore only a short chapter of the power that this multinational has in influencing the policies of governments.