Billions of taxpayer dollars will flood competing pharmaceutical companies thanks to the federal government’s blitz to get a coronavirus vaccine to market as quickly as possible.
President Donald Trump’s administration created Operation Warp Speed (OWS) back in May as a means to secure a vaccine as America trudges ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As a result, a recent report from Breitbart explains, the administration is making lucrative deals for pharmaceutical corporations, some of which have refused to sell their vaccines at cost and will therefore turn immense profits.
Late last month, France-based Sanofi and its British partner GlaxoSmithKline scored a $2.1 billion federal contract for 100 million doses of a vaccine with the potential option to buy another 500 million doses.
Not long before, Pfizer and BioNTech won a $1.95 billion federal contract for an initial 100 million doses of their pending vaccine.
Breitbart continues, listing more federal funding recipients:
Nearly $1 billion to Moderna
About $420 million to Johnson & Johnson
$1 billion to AstraZeneca
$1.6 billion to Novavax
$450 million to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
While AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson executives have pledged that they will sell their vaccines at cost, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in an interview with Barron’s that it is “radical” to suggest that billion-dollar pharmaceutical corporations should not turn a profit on their products.
“I think it’s very wrong. You need to be very fanatic and radical to say something like that right now,” Bourla said. “Who is finding the solution? The private sector found the solution for diagnostics, and the private sector found the solution for therapeutics and is along [the] way to find more solutions for therapeutics and vaccines. So how can you say something like that? Doesn’t make sense.”
Barron’s said that just how much Pfizer would profit is currently “unclear,” but that basic calculations “suggest that its revenue on the vaccine could be enormous, if all goes well for the company.”
Receipt of taxpayer funding isn’t the only ethical issue in the race to market a coronavirus vaccine.
Veteran vaccine developers such as Dr. Paul Offit have also expressed sincere concern regarding the safety of a vaccine rushed to market so quickly, warning of catastrophic consequences from similar vaccines.
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