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The Ethical Responsibility of Post-Covid Big Pharma

Big Pharma has been the subject of daily reports and briefings worldwide since the Covid-19 pandemic began two years ago. The rapid development of vaccine-like treatments has helped millions and potentially saved the world. Yet, the ethical responsibility of post-Covid Big Pharma is purely profit-driven, with each manufacturer earning tens of billions of dollars.

This is evident in that only the wealthiest nations enjoy a high vaccine rate. At the same time, some of the world’s poorest countries are subject to less than a 2% vaccination rate. This has done nothing to boost the already tattered reputation of companies such as Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. Yet, there is hope for redemption through generosity and public transparency.

Adequate and Appropriate Trials

The business of drug manufacture comes under strict rules and regulations in most countries. In addition, the World Health Organization polices it. Yet, the possibility of a drugs recall is always there. For this, you might want defective drugs and devices attorneys at your service. In addition, expert lawyers will help should you have suffered illness or injury following a trial. As rigorous as trials are, drug recalls happen all the time. The FDA pulls around 4,500 dangerous or tainted medicines from store shelves each year in the United States alone.

Pricing and Affordability

Throughout the pandemic, many Big Pharma companies scrambled to develop a vaccine. Many failed, yet some succeeded. And there are huge profits to be haad when you effectively save the world. Pfizer alone recorded a substantial profit of $26 billion from the sale of its Covid-19 vaccine. Yet, the pricing of a vaccine has left many developing nations in the dark. At the same time, wealthy countries hoard vaccines for themselves. As a result, vaccine rollouts have been poor in African countries at less than 2% in Nigeria compared to 68% in the UK.

Progression for the Developing World

You cannot brush the abysmal vaccination rates in the developing world under the carpet. More needs to be done, if only for the threat of lingering and mutating variants alone. Yet Big Pharma isn’t solely to blame. While they do enjoy massive profits, drug revenue rises slowly compared to other sectors. The real responsibility lies with Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM). They require fees for drug manufacturers to have their product placed in your health plan. These are best described as legal drug middlemen who control the market.

Changing Public Perception

The reputation of Big Pharma companies isn’t exactly sterling. For years, companies like Bayer, Novartis, and Purdue have been the subject of numerous controversial incidents. Some, such as Bayer’s decision to sell HIV-infected drugs knowingly to the African and Latin markets, are among some of the most desirable in history. You could argue that Big Pharma vaccine developers help the world. But R&D was profit-driven, and the pandemic did nothing to improve reputations. On the contrary, subsequent booster announcements worth billions per year might have harmed them.

The Open Book of Transparency

The nature of the drugs business requires that you don’t have access to most operations and procedures. This has had the effect of cultivating an air of secrecy and around Big Pharma, resulting in fueling vast public distrust and conspiracy theories. Covid-19 affected business and  placed Big Pharma firmly in the light like never before, and the companies have reacted poorly. Yet, the fact that vaccine development affects us means drug manufacturers need to partner with each other and government agencies to poll public trust and further their interests.

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