08/03/2021 / By JD Heyes
Well, that didn’t take long.
Giving just a few pharmaceutical companies complete monopoly over the COVID-19 vaccine, which world leaders are pushing on billions and billions of people, wasn’t enough, apparently, because two of them just raised their prices for their shots.
Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc have raised the prices of their COVID-19 vaccines in their latest European Union supply contracts, the Financial Times reported.
The new price for the Pfizer shot was 19.50 euros ($23.15) against 15.50 euros previously, the newspaper said, citing portions of the contracts seen.
The price of a Moderna vaccine was $25.50 a dose, the contracts show, up from about 19 euros in the first procurement deal but lower than the previously agreed $28.50 because the order had grown, the report said, citing one official close to the matter.
That’s Europe, mind you, but the price increases are coming to the United States as well, or more accurately, to U.S. taxpayers since ‘the government’ is buying them.
But it was obvious all along what was going to happen here: Given the opportunity for vaccine monopolies, the plan among the Big Pharma companies that developed them first was little more than a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, as Sharon Lerner of The Intercept noted at the beginning of the pandemic — March 2020.
“As the new coronavirus spreads illness, death, and catastrophe around the world, virtually no economic sector has been spared from harm. Yet amid the mayhem from the global pandemic, one industry is not only surviving, it is profiting handsomely,” she wrote, citing the pharmaceutical industry.
Others saw the money tsunami for Big Pharma rolling in as well.
“Pharmaceutical companies view Covid-19 as a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity,” Gerald Posner, author of “Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America,” told Lerner.
“The world needs pharmaceutical products, of course,” he claimed. “For the new coronavirus outbreak, in particular, we need treatments and vaccines and, in the U.S., tests. Dozens of companies are now vying to make them.
“They’re all in that race,” Posner added, noting that the then-potential payoffs were going to be monumental (and indeed they have been — and are about to get higher, thanks to the new price increases).
The pandemic “will potentially be a blockbuster for the industry in terms of sales and profits,” he told Lerner, adding that “the worse the pandemic gets, the higher their eventual profit.”
You bet. Because new billionaires have been created.
CNN reported in recent days:
Covid-19 vaccines have created at least nine new billionaires after shares in companies producing the shots soared.
Topping the list of new billionaires are Moderna (MRNA) CEO Stéphane Bancel and Ugur Sahin, the CEO of BioNTech (BNTX), which has produced a vaccine with Pfizer (PFE). Both CEOs are now worth around $4 billion, according to an analysis by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a campaign group that includes Oxfam, UNAIDS, Global Justice Now and Amnesty International.
“These billionaires are the human face of the huge profits many pharmaceutical corporations are making from the monopoly they hold on these vaccines,” Anne Marriott, Oxfam’s health policy manager, said in a statement. “These vaccines were funded by public money and should be first and foremost a global public good, not a private profit opportunity.”
Since February 2020, Moderna’s share price on U.S. stock indices has gained more than 700 percent; BioNTech’s stock has skyrocketed some 600 percent. Both companies CEOs are new billionaires as well, each worth more than $4 billion, so there has definitely been enough profit (from taxpayers) to go around.
And again, this is just the first round of COVID vaccines. You can bet their worth will only rise as the new ‘variants’ spread and the shots become mandatory for hundreds of millions of ready-made ‘customers.’
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