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Opinion

Big Pharma is rolling in money: 'They profit through price gouging'

21 October 2021 11:16 AM
Tags:
John Maytham
Pfizer
Mark Haywood
Daily Maverick
moderna
Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
BioNTech
Maverick Citizen
Covid-19 vaccines
big pharma

John Maytham interviews Mark Haywood, Editor of Maverick Citizen at the Daily Maverick.
  • Big Pharma – immensely powerful even before the pandemic - is making “obscene” profits through price gouging

  • It’s exactly what happened with antiretroviral drugs

  • Much of the cost of researching and developing the vaccines were born by taxpayers


South Africa and India are pushing the World Trade Organisation to waive Covid-19 vaccine patents. © Mariusz Szczygieł/123rf.com

The pandemic has exposed how some pharmaceutical companies are once more engaged in the worst kind of profiteering, says Mark Haywood, Editor of Maverick Citizen at the Daily Maverick.

They can hold the world to ransom over access to life-protecting vaccines they didn’t invent but whose manufacture and distribution they monopolise, he says.

Covid-19 vaccine development has been supported by $100 billion in funding from taxpayers in the US, Germany, and other countries.

Just three companies - Pfizer, Moderna and BioNTech – have earned revenues topping $26 billion in the first half of 2021.

John Maytham interviewed Haywood (scroll up to listen).

Big Pharma… were immensely powerful, immensely profitable companies before Covid came along. Whilst Covid has presented much of the world with a disaster… it’s presented them with a windfall…

Mark Haywood, Daily Maverick

They’re making a profit through price gouging… They’re not willing to share the intellectual property… that would make vaccines more accessible in poor countries… It’s not just a question of obscene profits, there’s a consequence in lives…

Mark Haywood, Daily Maverick

Exactly the same happened with antiretroviral drugs… This is a pattern that extends across all diseases… all medicines. The cost of the development of the medicine has no relationship to the cost at which they are put on the market. Cancer medicine is another case in point…

Mark Haywood, Daily Maverick

It depends on me and you… to speak out against this… A lot of what made them change in the early 2000s was because they were shamed…

Mark Haywood, Daily Maverick

The reasons given as to why these medicines are expensive are not true… Governments have to use their power… but they are intimidated… We have to call their bluff… My guess is we’re going to be buying Covid-19 vaccines for the next five years…

Mark Haywood, Daily Maverick



21 October 2021 11:16 AM
Tags:
John Maytham
Pfizer
Mark Haywood
Daily Maverick
moderna
Afternoon Drive with John Maytham
BioNTech
Maverick Citizen
Covid-19 vaccines
big pharma

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