Pfizer donates first $5M in Russian profits since the war started to help Ukrainians
Pfizer is taking a novel tactic in its approach to the Russian war against Ukraine as CEO Albert Bourla told staffers on Wednesday that the company is putting its first $5 million in Russian profits toward eight global and local NGOs to support humanitarian relief and response efforts in Ukraine.
“We will continue to divert these profits to the Ukrainian people until peace is achieved. Until that time, we also stand firm in our decision to cease all our clinical trials in Russia and to halt all investments in local manufacturing,” Bourla wrote to colleagues.
Pfizer joins with at least a half dozen other Big Pharma companies like AbbVie, Novartis and Eli Lilly in halting trials or suspending certain business activities in Russia due to the war.
For Lilly, efforts included stopping the export of non-essential medicines into Russia. Those non-essential medicines would include medicines such as Cialis, a Lilly spokesperson told Endpoints previously.
Novartis, meanwhile, told Endpoints that it’s taking a two-fold response: an initial $3 million donation to multiple NGOs, and they “have decided to suspend any investments in Russia and stop all commercial marketing activities, as well as all scientific events, organized by us or by external parties.”
The companies are all helping out on the humanitarian side of the conflict too, as many must continue to supply life-saving drugs to Russia.
“I am proud that Pfizer chose to lead with a novel approach in responding to this crisis,” Bourla wrote, adding:
While many multinationals have exited Russia completely, we in the biopharmaceutical sector have had a historical exemption from economic sanctions on a so-called “humanitarian” basis, as we have an obligation to deliver our lifesaving medicines and vaccines to patients regardless of the circumstances. But rather than use this exception as an excuse to do nothing more than business as usual, we found a way to continue to serve patients while also helping those whose lives have been torn apart by the war.