Trust and the pharmaceutical industry

Our today’s guest is Ad Antonisse, Director Market Access and External Affairs of AstraZeneca in The Netherlands. He talks about AstraZeneca as a producer of personalized medicine for cancer treatments and the company’s public-private relationship with the inventor of the Covid-19 vaccine, Oxford University in the UK. Despite being in the middle of a pandemic, he doesn’t consider being in the crosshairs of the public eye as a burden. The company makes sure its vaccine product is available all over the world at affordable prices.

Due to laws and strict regulations, the company has very limited space to respond to questions that arise around the vaccine and its availability. The company does its best to produce the vaccine and maintain its quality on a non-profit basis during the pandemic. He replies to the question about compulsory licensing. In his view, complex manufacturing processes and quality issues make it very hard for anyone else but trusted partners to produce the vaccine.

Producing a vaccine a little more than a year after the breakout of the pandemic is a remarkable achievement of science.

Growing distrust in society also affects the pharmaceutical industry. He talks about the role of his department to discuss with politicians issues about cost-benefit and how medicine is produced.

(The interview took place on April 26, in the middle of the second coronavirus wave)