Coronavirus vaccine won’t be free: Americans have already paid for it – twice

If you are an American citizen, you have already paid for your novel coronavirus vaccine. Not only have you paid for this future vaccine, you have also paid billions for the research that went into the discovery of that vaccine. The drug companies that accepted all the free money to do that research are making millions from your investment. You will get a job in your arm.

One of the leading candidates in Phase III clinical trials is the modern NIH vaccine. In typical times with any other disease, the US government spends a lot of money into early-stage clinical research, which is then purchased by pharmaceutical companies that conduct phase II and III clinical trials. When that drug comes on the market, Big Pharma companies again sell that drug to Americans and at inflated prices. Pharmaceutical companies would argue that they would have to charge a lot of money to compensate for the cost of developing the drug so that they could invest money in finding new ones.

This seems reasonable, except for the fact that it was Uncle Sam who paid for some of the costs of developing the drug in the first place. The difference between normal time and COVID time is that in the case of modern vaccines, the US government is stepping down complete Bill.

The modern operation is part of Warp Speed, a government program in which literally billions are thrown in for therapy and vaccines for COVID-19. Earlier this year, the pharmaceutical giant received nearly a billion dollars for vaccine research and development. As part of their government contract they are obliged to state how much of their own money they are putting into research. It was only after public pressure that he finally issued a small press statement, in which he admitted that Uncle Sam was paying 100% of the cost of vaccine development. Modern has put absolutely zero dollars into developing it. nothing. Zero. Nada

But it gets better. Trump has said on the campaign trail that the vaccine will be available free of charge to all Americans, which is a hilarious thing. His administration also pre-ordered for 100 million doses at a cost of $ 1.5 billion. This may seem appropriate as it costs money to manufacture vaccines. You must pour them into small glass vials and store them at the correct temperature. The thing is, $ 1.5 billion is not the cost of manufacturing the vaccine.

In July, public representative Jan Shakowski asked Modern Chairman Stephen Hoge during a committee meeting whether he would sell the vaccine “at cost”, at the cost of production.

His response: “No, Madam.”

Moderns are going to make millions to make a vaccine that they did not pay to develop.

Modern has also stated that they will not enforce their patents during the epidemic. It is a bit much to say that you are a great person to allow your friend to borrow your car and use all your gas, when it is actually your parents who bought the car and who are your gas Pay. The second small twist in the story is that Modern also cannot take all the patents for its COVID vaccine. It takes about 18 months to get a patent, and since this stuff has only been developed in the last nine months, it is obviously difficult to get a clear picture of which pharmaceutical company owns what. They have already lost a dispute with another pharmaceutical company over one of their patents, meaning that if they tried to enforce some of their patent rights they would lose anyway. But hey, nothing gives anything for good publicity like it’s something you didn’t have to begin with.

Another twist is that it is not a patent that comes to the making of a vaccine. Granting patent rights only means that the other company will not sue to make the vaccine and save lives, but it does not help other vaccine manufacturers figure out how to make these things. For this you should know how to transfer. For those of you who watch “The Great British Bake-Off”, it’s like a second challenge, when Paul asks Hollywood bakers to do something incredibly difficult and gives them all the material and minimal instructions. . The recipe may say: “mix your ingredients and bake at 360 degrees” but if you don’t know the order of mixing, or whether you should cook in a hot water bath, you won’t get great results. No one wants to inject a COVID vaccine in their hand that is equivalent to an under-cooked rainbow bagel. We all want a soft, moist rainbow rainbow bag vaccine, and that is not going to happen until the pharma companies dispel that information.

Fortunately, there are means available for philanthropic pharmaceutical companies who want to know how to keep their patents away and ensure equal global access to the vaccine. The WHO’s COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) and the Medicine Patent Pool are organizations compiling intellectual property (IP), data and information in an open platform to accelerate scientific information around the world. drug discovery.

However, it would be surprising to anyone that not a single pharmaceutical company contributed any meaningful intellectual property or any kind to the COVID-19 vaccine in the C-Tap or Medicines patent pool in Operation Tana Speed. is.

The chief executive of AstraZeneca, another pharmaceutical company that receives one billion dollars from the US government for a COVID vaccine, said: “I think I.P. [intellectual property] There is a fundamental part of our industry and if you do not protect IP, there is essentially no incentive for anyone to innovate. “Maybe a literal billion dollars isn’t enough incentive?

When this epidemic began, there was an emphasis for solidarity that the “People’s Vaccine” be funded by governments and provided free to citizens. Unfortunately, these optimistic vows have not been implemented. Oxfam has reported that rich countries such as Britain have received five doses of the vaccine per capita, while poorer countries such as Bangladesh have achieved one dose per nine people so far. It can be understood that pharmaceutical companies are entrusted with the research and manufacture of vaccines. This is what they all do. But if we want to rely on capitalism, then we should avoid capitalism, we should leave the ancestors and be full-blown capitalists on them. If we invest in their research then we should cut the profits. The top ten pharmaceutical companies made a net profit of $ 86 billion in 2019. Part of this will be sufficient to ensure that children in Bangladesh receive the vaccine at the same time as children in Texas.