First, I am not an anti-vaxxer, and my own life has been saved more than once by the intervention of laboratory drugs and injections, but I am wary of the pharmaceutical companies that dominate the healthcare ‘market’. Indeed if there is an industry that is top of my list for nationalisation, it would be Big Pharma.
I am also aware that vaccines save lives, However in the race to find a Covid-19 vaccine we should remain vigilant, even as the needle approaches our skin.
Pfizer, working with German drugmaker BioNTech, has announced that its vaccine is effective in preventing Covid-19.
The UK has approved their vaccine, with Britain's medicines regulator, the MHRA, saying the jab is safe and offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19. Boris Johnson has announced that the U.K. will purchase 40 million doses.
This follows an earlier $1.95 billion US Department of Health deal for 100 million Pfizer vaccines.
Whether or not this is good news for public health it has been cheered by Wall Street. Pfizer’s stock has soared, and market analysis is now predicting that their sales will now reach $258 million in the fourth quarter of 2020, with sales in 2021 expected to reach $4.6 billion.
But when it comes to medical ethics, Pfizer Is Big in both Pharma and Corruption. In the last 60 years Pfizer has:
- illegally conspired to control the production and distribution of drugs and fixed prices
- refused to lower the price of its AIDS medications.
- paid over $2 billion in fines for fraudulent marketing.
- bought ancillary companies knowing their medical practices were under criminal investigation.
- faced legal suits over defective heart valves and cancer drugs.
- spied on medical students protesting against Big Pharma’s influence in their education.
- pulled its leukaemia drug from the market because it caused more not less patient deaths
- paid $millions to resolve charges that it paid physicians to prescribe its drugs
- suspended paediatric trials of a drug which was being overdosed to children.
- suspended trials of an osteoarthritis pain drug, because patients got worse not better.
- been investigated for off-label marketing of their kidney transplant drug, and for targeting African-Americans
- been accused of paying foreign officials to facilitate drug approvals.
- As reported on 10 November 2020, is being investigated by the foreign corruption units at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) over their activities in China and Russia.
When asked why Pfizer had not been closed down, Peter Rost, author of The Whistleblower: Confessions of a Healthcare Hitman said, “So many Medicaid, Medicare and VA drugs come from Pfizer, the government would never convict them. It would stop the drug flow.”
Jim Edwards, former managing editor of Adweek agreed. “Pfizer is the largest drug company in the world and if you include its generics unit it makes literally hundreds of different drugs. Getting tough would mean no Lipitor, no Viagra, no Bacitracin, no Cipro, no Zithromax, no Sutent, et cetera,”
Do you trust criminal organizations? Because that’s what Pfizer is.
But hey, what about the Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine, developed with AstraZeneca. Oh no. They have been accused of paying bribes to health care providers so as to boost their medical sales, and have paid out $5.5 million over charges they had violated the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Enough.
I need a break. All we can do is hope the vaccine works.