- The COVID-19 pandemic has created more than 40 new billionaires in the pharmaceutical sector in the past two years.
- Pharmaceutical companies hid their profits to evade taxes, according to a new
- Researchers around the world have identified more than 100 factories capable of producing life-saving mRNA vaccines, which could save approximately 1.5 million lives.
A monopoly on vaccines, tests, treatments, personal protective equipment (PPE), and anything widely used during the pandemic has led to
Vaccine-producing giants such as
The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed about 20 million lives worldwide. More than half of these deaths occurred in low- and lower-middle-income countries, with vaccination rates in these countries of only 13%.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Created 40 New Pharmaceutical Billionaires
The COVID-19 pandemic helped create 40 new pharmaceutical billionaires. Four of those 40 come from US-based biotech major Moderna, who made a 70% pre-tax margin on its vaccines.
“It (Moderna) has been wildly successful in turning public funding into private wealth, turning $10 billion in US government funding (including vaccine pre-orders) to date into approximately $12 billion in vaccine profits,” it said. report.
The report also criticized Moderna’s refusal to partner with a South African vaccine maker that attempted to create an mRNA vaccine based on its code, while choosing to maximize its profits.
“Moderna’s collaboration could reduce the time to approval for this vaccine by at least a year, saving lives, reducing the risk of variants and reducing the economic toll of the pandemic. It is also one of the pharmaceutical companies accused of hiding profits in tax havens to prevent them from paying fair taxes,” Oxfam said.
Dirty tactics, lobbying, hiding profits next to vaccine profits
Drug major Pfizer also used dirty tactics to boost profits, including funding misinformation about the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine – also known as Covishield in India. It also pushed for clauses in contracts that could be used to silence critics, in addition to requiring state assets as collateral and checking delivery dates.
Removing monopolies could save 1.5 million lives, says Oxfam report
Researchers have identified more than 100 factories that could produce life-saving mRNA vaccines around the world, and more than 100 countries are calling for intellectual property (IP) rules that protect pharmaceutical companies’ profits to improve access to these medical devices. .
“Lifting their monopoly and their ability to dictate market prices would inevitably cause vaccine prices to plummet and the billions of dollars of guaranteed revenue to drain away. No wonder more than 100 drug lobbyists were sent to Washington and €36 million spent in Brussels to fight against the proposed exemption,” the report said.
The Oxfam report further suggested that the only way to tackle this monopoly problem is to impose a ‘wealth tax’ on millionaires. “An annual wealth tax for millionaires as low as 2 percent, and 5 percent for billionaires, could bring in $2.52 trillion a year,” the report said.
1 billionaire every 30 hours, 1 million extremely poor every 33 hours
Billionaire wealth has grown exponentially over the past two years, creating 573 new billionaires — one every 30 hours. In stark contrast, one million people plunged into extreme poverty every 33 hours, the report said.
“The extremely rich and powerful profit from pain and suffering. This increasing wealth and increasing poverty are two sides of the same coin, proof that our economic system is functioning exactly as the rich and powerful designed it,” said Gabriela Bucher, executive director of
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Billionaire wealth has increased more in 2 years than in the past 23 years combined