Vaccine rent seeking (part 2): The booster shell game

in #economics2 months ago

Originally posted on Quora November 13, 2022

Not only did Pfizer never intend to spread their vaccine across the world as quickly as possible, which they made clear by blocking IP waivers and compulsory licenses to countries in the global south, but they never intended for it to prevent transmission or be permanent but only to produce antibody levels that quickly waned within a few months requiring more boosters. Planned obsolescence to maximize quarterly profits was part of the design all along, just as it has been the MO of the pharmaceutical industrial complex for decades. Even at $19.95 for the first two doses, Pfizer still made an estimated $9 billion in profit with a profit margin in the high 20% range even after splitting the vaccine revenue 50/50 with Bio-N-Tech. With the USG buying the first 2 boosters at $30.47 per dose (53% price hike) and additional boosters to be sold on the open market for $110-130 per dose (450-550% price hike) it’s easy to see how they’ll reach the 60-80% profit margin they projected in 2020 prior to development. At a fundamental level, corporate profit driven medicine has no incentive to cure disease only to treat it at increasingly higher costs because at the end of the day Pfizer’s primary (fiduciary) duty is to maximize profits to their shareholders; whether they reap these profits off the backs of taxpayers or policyholders makes little difference.

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