Cuba puts people before profits – showing the world an alternative to the monopolistic practices of Big Pharma. It promotes a public health system, state-funded research and shows global solidarity through tech transfer and vaccine delivery to developing countries
In yet another success story from Cuba, the country has fully vaccinated more than 85% of its population, and another 7% have got their single dose. This is more than most other developed countries, including the United States. And this is despite the six decades-long trade embargo that the US has imposed on the small developing country.
In the United States, most of the Covid antivax agitation comes from rightwing sources. It is dangerous and reprehensible because it threatens legitimate public health efforts to bring a pandemic under control that has already killed at least 750,000 people in the U.S. and five million worldwide. The rightwing ideologues who carry out this campaign of disinformation are simply unconscionable scoundrels.
The contrast between the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives and livelihood of the working-class population and the soaring profits of big pharma companies in the corresponding period is abhorrent.
Despite the huge jump in revenues during the global crisis and a forecast for the continuation of the good run—owing to an assured market for vaccines, drugs and diagnostics in the years to come—big pharma is reportedly lobbying against the proposed global deal on tax overhaul. Last month, about 130 countries agreed to the US call for a global minimum rate of corporate tax of 15%.
Estimates suggest that the mass of the population in wealthier countries are likely to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid of 2022. However, in poorer economies, mass immunization will take until 2024, if it happens at all. These countries will pay the cost of this delay in the form of 2.5 million avoidable deaths.
What is standing in the way of expanding production and carrying out mass vaccination campaigns across the world?Read More »
In this episode of ‘Talking Science & Tech’, we look at how private pharma companies and developed nations have created a bottleneck in vaccine distribution through the use of patents and legislation.Read More »
The worldwide Covid vaccine rollout has gone anything but smoothly, with only a handful of countries able to immunize even 10% of their populations yet with a first dose. Two primary causes of this have been rich nations hoarding precious doses and their refusal to waive the intellectual property rights to their creations, both of which have led to massive shortages across the world, particularly in the global south.
These practices have been denounced by charities and human rights groups alike. Oxfam expressed its dismay that, as a result of copyright rules, three of the largest pharmaceutical companies on the planet are doing nothing to produce vaccines as they have not secured the rights to do so, even as up to 10,000 people die daily from COVID-19. Human Rights Watch has supported a proposal led by India and South Africa that Western governments should waive any restrictions on the production of lifesaving vaccines. But there appears to be little prospect of that happening soon.Read More »
BIG pharma companies toting more income than many wealthy and oil-rich nations are posing a “serious obstacle to wiping out Covid-19” having produced “privatised” vaccines with public money, campaigners warned today.
Some of the corporations producing Covid-19 treatments have a history of ripping off the NHS, profiteering from disease and market manipulation, research by Global Justice Now has found.Read More »
The world is abuzz today after a team of medical researchers from Oxford University in the United Kingdom announced that advanced trials of their experimental coronavirus vaccine were a roaring success, with the vaccine possibly being rolled out before Christmas. Testing was done on 24,000 volunteers in the U.K, Brazil, and South Africa, with an average effectiveness of over 70%. However, when the vaccine was administered as a half dose, then patients were later given a full one, effectiveness increased to 90%. Encouragingly, there were no serious side effects registered among any of the volunteers, none of whom had to go to the hospital as a result of being immunized. The U.K. government has already ordered 100 million doses.Read More »
WASHINGTON DC (The Last American Vagabond) — In August 2001, biopharmaceutical company BioPort faced imminent disaster. A series of company scandals, controversial federal bail-outs and severe, adverse health reactions among U.S. troops were causing both Congress and the Pentagon to reconsider its multi-million dollar contract to provide the military with an anthrax vaccine.
Formed for the sole purpose of acquiring a publicly-owned company in Michigan that held the exclusive license to manufacture the only FDA-approved anthrax vaccine in the United States, BioPort sought to quickly expand the size and scope of its contracts with the U.S. military. This strategy was made possible thanks to the former head of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, Adm. William Crowe, who would prove highly instrumental in the rise of BioPort’s vaccine monopoly and its subsequent, aggressive hiring of former government officials as lobbyists.Read More »
If you’re feeling bereft, take note: Bernie Sanders is still here loudly fighting the good fight, this week blasting the avarice of Big Pharma so persuasively he sent their stock prices plunging to a seven-month low. After battling Big Pharma for decades – pillorying the makers of the emergency allergy injection EpiPen for obscenely jacking up their prices, recently calling out another company’s price hikes on leukemia drugs, and campaigningthis fall to stop price-gouging by helping pass California’s Proposition 61, seen by many as Ground Zero for drug companies and their 1,266 D.C. lobbyists – Bernie isn’t letting up.Read More »