Albert, Ursula & Heiko: The dangerous relationship between the President of the European Commission and the CEO of Pfizer

In April 2021, the New York Times revealed that Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, was negotiating directly with Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, through phone calls and text messages[2]. And indeed, the following month, the Commission announced a mega-contract with the alliance of German BioNTech and US Pfizer to purchase 900 million doses of the vaccine between the end of 2021 and 2023, with an option for an additional 900 million doses. To date, the European Commission has signed contracts with seven pharmaceutical companies or groups for a total of 4,575 billion potential doses, or ten doses per capita for all ages [3]. The Pfizer/BioNTech contract of May 2021 is worth €35 billion. Compared to the previous autumn’s contracts, the price per dose has increased from 15.50 to 19.50 euros. In view of the staggering 1.8 billion doses ordered and the discounts and economies of scale that would normally result, this is a surprising result.