With all the news lately, it is no wonder that we are unprepared for a global pandemic. Public health officials have known about COVID-19 for many years, and known that it could be a serious threat someday. But we do not have a vaccine nor any treatments… why?
Drug development is already a risky business – that truth cannot be denied. Many projects fail, and many others have serious setbacks and prove to be extremely challenging.
Working on a virus that may never be the cause of a public health crisis, and possibly never re-emerge would have been a tremendous risk because without a market, there is no opportunity for profit.
Over the past several weeks, Big Pharma has popped its head up and is now working on vaccines and treatments for COVID-19… because they could fetch a high price tag. Suddenly, they are interested.
This is the purpose of tax-payer funded research, yet even with the investment reaching the high triple digit millions, public health officials expect that a treatment would be expensive (enter Big Pharma) and not everyone will be able to afford it.
We should all be outraged. Life-threatening diseases and serious illnesses should not make Big Pharma execs set limitless profit goals at the expense of human life and further spread of the virus. They are in business to make money – true – but they also work in a business in which the public depends on their innovations for their very livelihood. This is responsible business, and Big Pharma execs should Google it.
Responsible business will make them money, keep them in business and save lives. It just makes sense. Big Pharma will make a tremendous fortune on any vaccine or cure for any disease or illness that evokes widespread panic among public health officials. And yet, it won’t be enough for them, they need to make as much as they can possibly can for as long as they can get away with it.
This is pure greed, it’s just that simple.
We are so pleased that there are watchdog groups out there who are fighting for the right to safe and affordable medicine everyday.
Public Citizen and 70 civil society organizations recently called on President Trump to “not grant monopolies on any coronavirus vaccines or treatments developed with government support, and for his administration to require reasonable pricing globally through clear conditions in all coronavirus government contracts.”
To read the full letter, please click here.
And while you are on Public Citizen’s website, check out some of the helpful information they have available on drug pricing and find out what you can do to fight for safe and affordable medicine at this link.