EU preparing legal case against AstraZeneca over vaccine shortfalls – sources
The European Commission is working on legal proceedings against AstraZeneca (AZN.L) after the drugmaker cut COVID-19 vaccine deliveries to the European Union, sources familiar with the matter said.
The move would mark a further step in an EU plan to sever ties with the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker after the company repeatedly cut supplies to the bloc, contributing to major delays in Europe’s vaccine rollout.
The news about the legal case was first reported on Thursday by Politico. An EU official involved in talks with drugmakers confirmed the EU was preparing to sue the company.
“EU states have to decide if they (will) participate. It is about fulfillment of deliveries by the end of the second quarter,” the official said.
The matter was discussed on Wednesday at a meeting with EU diplomats, the official and a diplomat said. Politico, citing five unnamed European diplomats, reported that a majority of EU countries at the meeting said they would support suing the company.
“What matters is that we ensure the delivery of a sufficient number of doses in line with the company’s earlier commitments,” a spokesman for the EU Commission said. “Together with the member States, we are looking at all options to make this happen.”
There was no immediate response from AstraZeneca on Thursday to a request for comment.
Brussels in March sent a legal letter to the company in the first step of a potential legal procedure read more .
When the deadline for a reply expired this month, a spokesman for the Commission said the matter was discussed in a meeting with AstraZeneca but the EU was still seeking further clarification from the company on “a number of outstanding points”…..read more