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Pfizer’s obscene $900m profit from its Covid vaccine in just three months proves capitalism and public health are bad bedfellows

9 55 301
05.05.2021

As the New York Times reported, Pfizer generated hundreds of millions in profits in the first quarter of 2021, thanks to its successful Covid-19 vaccine. What’s interesting about the company’s success, however, is that its vaccine is one of just two widely used that are produced on a for-profit basis – and the only one whose manufacturer is not reliant on it to stay afloat. Pfizer’s windfall this year is, in essence, a windfall for monopoly medicine.

Unlike its Western competitors Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, Pfizer decided early to profit from its vaccine. That profit margin hasn’t been disclosed, but it was predicted that this would be in the high 20% range. That means that, of the $3.5 billion brought in by the vaccine this quarter, about $900m is pre-tax profit.

Unlike Moderna, a competitor that uses similar vaccine technology to Pfizer’s, Pfizer is an extraordinarily profitable company already, making $9.6 billion in profits in 2020 before the vaccine had even had a serious impact. Moderna has no other products on the market, so turning a profit on its vaccine is crucial for its operation. Not so for Pfizer.

Pfizer sells its vaccine sales at different rates. The United States, for example, pays $19.50 for each dose, while Israel has reportedly paid $30.The reason all this is morally justifiable, Pfizer has said repeatedly, is that it was never part of the US government’s Operation Warp Speed and therefore should be allowed to set its own prices.

However, this is deceptive. BioNTech, the company that actually developed the vaccine, after which Pfizer basically slapped its label on it, received a $455 million grant from the German government and got around $6........

© RT.com


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