PHARMACEUTICAL companies mandated non-disclosure agreements with governments that procure vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) disease.
Senate President Vicente Sotto 3rd confirmed this on Wednesday night after meeting with vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
Galvez showed Sotto and Senators Panfilo Lacson, Ronald.dela Rosa and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong the necessary documents on vaccine procurement.
“We were able to see all the necessary documents and proposed agreements,” Sotto said in a text message when asked about the outcome of his meeting with Galvez.
“Indeed there are non disclosure agreements mandated by the pharma companies internationally,” the Senate chief said.
Galvez had warned that the Philippines will lose its 148 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines that it ordered from seven pharmaceutical firms if the prices of the vaccines will be disclosed.
Galvez stressed this to explain why he could not reveal the cost of each brand of Covid-19 vaccine that the government is hoping to buy, due to existing confidentiality disclosure agreements (CDA) with developers.
Sotto added, “I will inform our colleagues on the important facts asap (as soon as possible). I was with Sen[ator] Lacson, Sen[ator] Dela Rosa and Mayor Magalong of Baguio.”
“Gen[eral]/Sec[retary] Galvez assures us through the agreements that there will be no room for overpricing by any person, entity or group as all payments will go directly to the Pharma companies from the lending institution who will also set in place proper safeguards,” he said.
Sotto said the third Senate hearing on Friday on the government’s mass immunization program “will push through.”
“And hopefully we will be able to elicit enough information to be able to convince our countrymen that the vaccines, no matter what brand, will be necessary, for us to defeat the virus,” he added.
Asked why Magalong was present in the meeting, Sotto said, “I think he was also interested in the agreements as Baguio has entered through the national government.”