Nine drug companies pledged Tuesday that they will not submit vaccine candidates for FDA review until their safety and efficacy is shown in large clinical trials. The move is intended to bolster public confidence amid the rush to make a COVID-19 vaccine widely available, and counter fears of political pressure to have a vaccine before the November presidential election.
The CEOs of AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer are among those who signed the pledge to follow “high ethical standards and sound scientific principles.” All three companies are conducting large studies of potential vaccines for the disease that has killed nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. and nearly 900,000 worldwide. The other biopharmaceutical companies are Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novavax, BioNTech and Sanofi.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, in an interview on the Today show, called the pledge historic.
“With increasing public concerns about the processes that we are using to develop these vaccines and even more importantly the processes that will be used to evaluate the vaccines, we thought it was critical to come out and reiterate our commitment,” Bourla said.
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