Many people prefer to believe that coronavirus will be defeated when scientists develop a vaccine, only pharmaceutical companies will “bury” these hopes under a pile of patents in attempts to earn millions.
This is stated in an article in The Guardian. The publication was authored by Ellen Hohen and Achal Prabhala, a researcher at the University of Groningen at the Dutch University Medical Center, and coordinator of the AccessIBSA project, which promotes access to medicines in India, Brazil and South Africa.
As noted in the article, medical patents have long turned into legal monopolies. In theory, patents should provide pharmaceutical companies with a reward for investment in research and development. Moreover, patents are temporary.
“But in practice, patenting minor formula changes can significantly extend this period, eliminating competition in the market and giving pharmaceutical companies the ability to set prices,” the publication said.
As an example of how vaccines turned into a business, the authors cite the situation with infant mortality from pneumonia. To date, there are two vaccines that can combat this phenomenon, but they are “buried under a pile of patents”, which belong to the American Pfizer and the British GlaxoSmithKline. Pfizer vaccine is used in India. The price of the drug is $ 250 for the full course. Thanks to the help of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, Indian authorities can buy it for $ 10.
“But, given that demand in India amounts to tens of millions, even the subsidized cannot cover it, and only a small part of the children receive the vaccine. And now, 40 years after the development of the pneumonia vaccine, 127 thousand Indian children continue to die from it every year, while the vaccine they cannot afford continues to bring Pfizer 4.5 billion pounds a year, ” continue experts.
In particular, they drew attention to the fact that in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, medical monopolies had already shown themselves. It was they who caused the deficit of N95 masks.
“In fact, COVID-19 is likely to end in the same way as any pandemic: treatment and vaccines will be buried under a pile of patents, and pharmaceutical companies will ultimately decide who will live and who will die,” they said authors of the article.Coronacrisis and IMF push Zelensky to fight the oligarchy