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What exactly is happening with AstraZeneca?

  • 25-01-2021 3:49pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 17,796 ✭✭✭✭ hatrickpatrick


    The news has been full of stories about AstraZeneca having slashed their initial vaccine deliveries to the EU by 60% and the knock on fallout from that. But what’s either being buried in all the reporting, or simply hasn’t been reported at all, is what exactly happened? What’s the reason for the delay? Technical, logistical, commercial, etc?

    I assumed it was similar to what was happening with Pfizer, which is essentially an issue of manufacturing capacity being reduced by an upgrade to their production facility. But what seems odd about the AstraZeneca situation is the anger directed towards them from officials and leaders, plus public statements that “They must honour their delivery commitments”, indicating that this isn’t an act-of-God type mishap in manufacturing, but an act of incompetence and/or willful reneging on the agreement - perhaps their capacity has remained the same but they’ve “bumped” the EU’s order in priority because others are paying more, or something along these lines?

    Does anyone know what exactly the situation is? I can’t seem to find anything beyond extremely vague statements at the moment.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 24 GPoint


    AstraZeneca vaccine production unscathed after fire breaks out at Serum Institute of India complex

    https://www.fiercepharma.com/manufacturing/astrazeneca-vaccine-production-unscathed-after-fire-breaks-out-at-serum-institute


    This was few days ago, however their announcements about delays came out around the same time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,226 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump


    I got the impression that the EU signed up which would have allowed the company to proceed with pushing through development and testing and building up capacity as they already had a buyer guaranteed. EU might even have put a chunk of money down as prepayment to allow them to speed it up.

    It seems now that there is an implication that they are deciding that now they have the final product in the bag and ready to go that they might be tempted to supply others before fulfilling their contractual obligations.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,796 ✭✭✭✭ hatrickpatrick


    I got the impression that the EU signed up which would have allowed the company to proceed with pushing through development and testing and building up capacity as they already had a buyer guaranteed. EU might even have put a chunk of money down as prepayment to allow them to speed it up.

    It seems now that there is an implication that they are deciding that now they have the final product in the bag and ready to go that they might be tempted to supply others before fulfilling their contractual obligations.

    This would make more sense than a genuine production capacity issue, certainly. Surely the consequence of doing this would be profound in terms of international contractual law not to mention EU licensing etc? Or is it a case of that being enough of a gamble to take given the potential money to be made in other markets?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 727 ✭✭✭ NeuralNetwork


    The European Commission is concerned about where its money went basically.

    AstraZeneca were paid €336 million as a downpayment to assist with the R&D and production expansion effort and there's a commitment to order €750m worth of product from them. That isn't small change.

    Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety's statement:


    As to what's happening. The answer is we don't know, but by the looks of it we'll be finding out shortly. She seems to be absolutely furious and I don't think they would kick off that level of undiplomatic language without there being more to this than a little misunderstanding.

    Hopefully that's all it is though, but we'll see. There's a meeting tonight.


  • Posts: 0 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]


    I'm kind of wondering if AZ had done some of the at risk manufacturing, but were peeved by the EMA's comments over Christmas that better data was needed, so they decided EMA approval was going to take longer than they had originally anticipated and shipped what they had made elsewhere where approval was closer or granted. Thinking they could catch up by the time EMA approval came through.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,732 ✭✭✭ el Fenomeno


    For her to come out and specifically mention concerns that they've sold/delivered then elsewhere is pretty sensational. Usually these accusations are hinted at or suggested, but to outright say it - yikes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,784 ✭✭✭ froog


    the level of anger would seem to point to the EU knowing AZ is thinking about or has already supplied other customers, cutting into the EU agreement. rather than simple supply calculation/capacity f#ckups.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 727 ✭✭✭ NeuralNetwork


    Yeah it would seem quite unlikely she'd come out that strong on the topic if it were something small.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,784 ✭✭✭ froog


    on the radio now - AZ are playing hardball. talk of the UK not having any supply problems.

    this won't end well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,764 ✭✭✭ Hurrache


    Don't think it's them playing hardball, they've been caught in a lie of their own making by initially claiming the issue was supply problems, yet these supply problems aren't having an affect on any other customer.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 424 ✭✭ Cerveza


    China has some involvement too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,712 ✭✭✭ ...Ghost...


    My initial thoughts when I heard about the shortage was that AZ were supplying the UK with the batches destined for the EU.

    edited to add: https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-astrazeneca-to-cut-covid-19-vaccine-delivery-to-eu-by-60-reports-12195923


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,218 ✭✭✭ Fr_Dougal


    The European Commission is concerned about where its money went basically.

    AstraZeneca were paid €336 million as a downpayment to assist with the R&D and production expansion effort and there's a commitment to order €750m worth of product from them. That isn't small change.

    Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety's statement:


    As to what's happening. The answer is we don't know, but by the looks of it we'll be finding out shortly. She seems to be absolutely furious and I don't think they would kick off that level of undiplomatic language without there being more to this than a little misunderstanding.

    Hopefully that's all it is though, but we'll see. There's a meeting tonight.


    Blatantly obvious, non-EU countries have paid above the odds for supply, and AZ have supplied them instead of fulfilling their EU orders.


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,704 ✭✭✭✭ NIMAN


    Probably right.

    At the end of the day, most things like this boil down to money.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 61,779 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011


    They gave the UK stock that was being held for other countries on the assumption that it would be replaced before it was approved in those other countries. This was mentioned at the time they did it.

    That is now catching up with them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,682 ✭✭✭ Northernlily


    Does this undersupply fall somewhere in the Brexit context....

    Seriously bad grace by the sounds of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,705 ✭✭✭ Sweet.Science


    What option does the EU have here ? Other than accepting they have been shafted and wait for the supplies to come ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,323 ✭✭✭ bennyl10


    What option does the EU have here ? Other than accepting they have been shafted and wait for the supplies to come ?

    could easily sue if the conntract is broken


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,801 ✭✭✭✭ CIARAN_BOYLE


    What option does the EU have here ? Other than accepting they have been shafted and wait for the supplies to come ?

    Depends on the contract.

    They may be able to demand financial damages or leave Astra Zenaca the choice of paying damages or importing to the eu from other countries.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,705 ✭✭✭ Sweet.Science


    bennyl10 wrote: »
    could easily sue if the conntract is broken

    Doesn't really help on the supply though . May affect future supply if they did sue


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,597 ✭✭✭ Russman


    What option does the EU have here ? Other than accepting they have been shafted and wait for the supplies to come ?

    True enough, but good luck to AZ getting any other future product onto shelves in the EU. It’s a big market to p1ss off at the expense of one the size of the UK. Europeans have long memories.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,226 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump


    Doesn't really help on the supply though . May affect future supply if they did sue




    They would still be liable to fulfill existing contracts.


    If they did indeed pull a fast one then they shouldn't be let away with it.


    Sounds a bit like a dodgy builder tactic where he gets paid up-front for an extension and then picks up other jobs in the meantime as he can because he knows the person who paid up front just has to sit and wait.


  • Registered Users Posts: 827 ✭✭✭ HalfAndHalf


    Grabs popcorn, sits back to watch the thread turn into a ‘those bloody Brits it’s all a Brexit stitch up forgetting the company is half owned by a Swedish company’!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,705 ✭✭✭ Sweet.Science


    They would still be liable to fulfill existing contracts.


    If they did indeed pull a fast one then they shouldn't be let away with it.


    Sounds a bit like a dodgy builder tactic where he gets paid up-front for an extension and then picks up other jobs in the meantime as he can because he knows the person who paid up front just has to sit and wait.

    Yeah I agree they have opened themselves up for a massive lawsuit

    Money in 5 yrs time is pointless now though


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,467 ✭✭✭✭ drunkmonkey


    Fr_Dougal wrote: »
    Blatantly obvious, non-EU countries have paid above the odds for supply, and AZ have supplied them instead of fulfilling their EU orders.

    They might have paid over the odds but it's still cheaper than what Pfizer & Co were offering them, I was listening to one of the girls on the team making it, think she was Irish a few weeks ago, the intention was to get it to the poorer counties first as the others were too expensive.


  • Registered Users Posts: 827 ✭✭✭ HalfAndHalf


    Yeah I agree they have opened themselves up for a massive lawsuit

    Money in 5 yrs time is pointless now though

    How so? There are precisely zero facts as yet and just because there’s been some very unstatesmanlike rants coming out of Brussels it’s not what you think, it’s what you can prove.

    All anyone has been told as yet is that there’s been a fire in an Indian plant and production issues at a Belgian plant, the latter being the cause of the Pfizer and BioNtech delays.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,920 ✭✭✭ MrMusician18


    What option does the EU have here ? Other than accepting they have been shafted and wait for the supplies to come ?

    Export ban would probably be the most serious consequence.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,952 ✭✭✭ emo72


    They sold to the Brits, and their delivery van had broke down. I'm not forgetting about you guvnor, I'll give you a call next week, gotta fly mate, me missus is on the other line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,811 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy


    What option does the EU have here ? Other than accepting they have been shafted and wait for the supplies to come ?

    They could pull the finger out and get it approved.

    The response has been pretty limp wristed for the last few months.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,216 ✭✭✭ An Ri rua


    How so? There are precisely zero facts as yet and just because there’s been some very unstatesmanlike rants coming out of Brussels it’s not what you think, it’s what you can prove.

    All anyone has been told as yet is that there’s been a fire in an Indian plant and Belgian plant, the latter being the cause of the Pfizer and BioNtech delays.

    2 fires? One fire is unfortunate...


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