Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Big Pharma Profiteering


Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer reported Tuesday that it brought in a record-breaking $100.3 billion in revenue in 2022 and $31.4 billion in profit. The company reported $56 billion in sales of its Covid-19 vaccine and Paxlovid, though it said it expects sales to drop in the coming year as it moves to hike prices significantly on its vaccine.

"In one year alone, Pfizer's revenue has exceeded the total health expenditures of more than 100 countries combined," Julia Kosgei, policy co-lead for the People's Vaccine Alliance, said. "If it were a country, Pfizer would sit in the wealthiest third of nation-states. And it has amassed this fortune while jacking up prices on Covid-19 vaccines amid a pandemic that has devastated people’s livelihoods. Put simply, Pfizer has plundered health systems for profit."

Globally, more than 2,600 people are dying from Covid-19 each day on average. According to Our World in Data, just over 26% of people in low-income nations have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose as Pfizer and other pharmaceutical giants refuse to make their vaccine technology available to all.

"Billions of people in developing countries still cannot access affordable Covid-19 medicines," continued Kosgei. "Companies like Pfizer are gobbling up ever-greater proportions of health budgets and handing the spoils to wealthy shareholders—all while treating access for developing countries as little more than a PR initiative..."

 The advocacy group Global Justice Now called Pfizer's record earnings report "sickening."

"With this latest 'all-time high' announcement, Pfizer now has revenues higher than the GDP of 133 countries, including 8 E.U. member states, and is the first pharma company ever to make $100 billion in a year," noted Tim Bierley, the group's pharma campaigner. "But not content with doubling its revenues with a pandemic windfall, they are now still moving to aggressively hike the price of Covid-19 booster doses, putting even more pressure on already struggling public health systems."

He went on to say:

"Their latest record-breaking revenues are further proof that the company treated the pandemic as an opportunity to enrich its shareholders," Bierley added. "We can't allow Big Pharma companies to hold us to ransom in this way. We need the government to be bold and break with the monopoly patent model that fails people everywhere. It's time to put people's lives above corporate profit."

Pfizer's Record-Shattering $100 Billion in Revenue Denounced as 'Sickening' (commondreams.org)

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