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Explaining non-disclosure agreements in Covid-19 vaccine procurement

Annabelle Lee

Published
Modified 6 Jan 2021, 7:56 am

COVID-19 | Last week’s spat between Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang over Covid-19 vaccines highlighted an important feature of the procurement process - non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

Why do pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Moderna impose NDAs in the first place? Are NDAs common? Who stands to benefit from such secrecy?

To answer these questions, we spoke to two experts - health policies specialist Dr Khor Swee Kheng and Lim Chee Han, a health economics and public health researcher.

Khor is an independent consultant for few organisations while Lim is attached to local think tank Third World Network.

Both said that NDAs are common and tend to benefit pharmaceutical companies as it allows them to price their products differently. It also allows the companies to...

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