Pfizer ends clinical trials in Russia, but continues to supply drugs

Pfizer Inc. said it would no longer start new clinical trials in Russia and that it would donate all profits from its subsidiary in the country to charities in Ukraine.

At the same time, the drugmaker said in a statement that it will continue to supply drugs to Russia, fearing that vulnerable patients such as children and the elderly who depend on its therapies could be harmed by a shutdown.

The company “concluded that a voluntary interruption of the flow of our drugs to Russia would be a direct violation of our fundamental principle of putting patients first,” the statement said. Pfizer said it does not own or operate any manufacturing sites in Russia and plans to halt planned investments with local suppliers.

There is increasing economic pressure on Russia, including sanctions from the US, the European Union and other countries, because of the war in Ukraine. Many multinational companies have chosen to suspend operations in Russia as well, although Moscow has threatened asset seizures and other possible reprisals.

Pfizer said it would work with the US Food and Drug Administration and other regulators to move current clinical trials to alternative sites outside of Russia. Patients already enrolled in studies will continue to receive medications, the company said.

Shares of Pfizer rose 0.7% in premarket trading Monday.

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