No profits from doom, we hope

Thursday, 11th February 2021 — By John Gulliver

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AS the fog of propaganda war clears over the pandemic it is becoming more and more clear that a regular annual Covid vaccination programme will probably become part of life – certainly for many of the elderly and vulnerable.

Though the big pharma companies, such as AstraZeneca, are committed – according to the current edition of the British Medical Journal – of not “making a profit from the pandemic” they reserved the right to declare when it was over “and take profit from later sales”.

If their vaccines remain in demand over the coming years, as is more than likely, they will no doubt reap worldwide sales. The traditional big pharma argument is that they are entitled to benefit from their heavy investments in research – and few benefitting today from the vaccination programme perhaps would disagree.

But there is a certain free-for-all in prices with some nations, classified as rich, such as, perhaps perversely, South Africa, being charged £3.84 a dose, more than twice what the EU pays.

In a year or two the big pharma firms will be engaged in an enormous sized trade involving trillions of pounds as demand for the vaccine grows.

At one point, they will be making perhaps an average standard return on their investment but at some stage their rate of profit will rise not, we hope, to the point when they could be accused of profiteering.

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