Dr. Lynn Carey says she knows firsthand the critical role that vaccines and new drugs play in preventing disease, treating outbreaks and saving lives.
As a retired nurse who practiced for over 40 years, she writes that “ensuring readily affordable access to these medicines must be our — and our government’s — priority, not enabling massive profits in the pharmaceutical industry.”
Carey goes on to write that “The United States has a long history of effectively managing public health crises by leveraging public resources — our taxpayer dollars — to innovate treatments to eradicate everything from measles to polio to rubella…but lifesaving medicines, including vaccines that prevent communicable diseases, can’t work if people can’t afford them.”
Her fear is that drug corporations that have previously shown little interest in creating vaccines, might jump on an opportunity to capitalize on the more than $700 million that’s already been put into coronavirus research, and push out a product at a price that makes participation worth their while.
Two huge drug corporations, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi, have jumped in to work with public agencies, Carey reports.
She says: “Pharmaceutical corporations are motivated by profit, not public health. The United States shouldn’t give a blank check to Big Pharma to test and sell a drug that could mean the difference between spreading the virus and stopping it in its tracks.”
Read more about how Big Pharma could pose a threat to an affordable vaccine here.
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