On 22nd June 2022, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, Albert Bourla, provided the following update to Pfizer colleagues on the company's humanitarian response to the conflict in Ukraine:
On March 14, we announced that, effective immediately, Pfizer would donate the equivalent of all profits from our sales in Russia to causes that provide direct humanitarian support to the people of Ukraine. Today, I am pleased to say we are making good on this promise.
Our first down payment of U.S. $5 million will go to eight global and local NGOs to support humanitarian relief and response efforts. This includes food security and support services, education for children, and other pressing needs of the people of Ukraine. This is in addition to all other previously announced donations to Ukraine from Pfizer Inc., The Pfizer Foundation and the more than 4,500 colleagues who donated through the Give Forward programme. We will continue to divert these profits to the Ukrainian people until peace is achieved. Until that time, we also stand firm in our decision to cease all our clinical trials in Russia and to halt all investments in local manufacturing.
I am proud that Pfizer chose to lead with a novel approach in responding to this crisis. While many multinationals have exited Russia completely, we in the biopharmaceutical sector have had a historical exemption from economic sanctions on a so-called “humanitarian” basis, as we have an obligation to deliver our medicines and vaccines to patients regardless of the circumstances. But rather than use this exception as an excuse to do nothing more than business as usual, we found a way to continue to serve patients while also helping those whose lives have been torn apart by the war.
These actions are consistent with Pfizer’s equity value and with the evolving role corporations are playing in our world. In the summer of 2019, The Business Roundtable (BRT) redefined the role of corporations as having a duty to stakeholders inclusive of, but far broader than, shareholders. They declared that businesses and chief executives must play a role in leading on societal issues and addressing underserved communities as a core function. Like 180 of my peers in other great companies, I signed up. I did so because I wanted the world to know that Pfizer is a company that leads with purpose – and with humanity at its core. I also signed up secure in the knowledge that Pfizer colleagues around the world felt the same way. And you continue to demonstrate this in meaningful ways.
The world is watching, and I couldn’t be prouder of how our company has risen to the moment and is living our equity value.