In a call to end drug monopolies, a non-profit claims that the COVID vaccine push has resulted in the creation of nine new billionaires.
According to a nonprofit organization working to break drug monopolies, the effort to produce and sell vaccines against the coronavirus has resulted in the creation of nine new billionaires.
The newfound billionaires accumulated their riches “thanks to the unsustainable profits pharmaceutical companies with monopolies on COVID vaccines are making,” according to the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a group of organizations and activists.
The nine new billionaires have a total net worth of $19.3 billion, according to the group, which is enough to completely vaccinate all citizens in low-income countries 1.3 times. “In the meantime, despite having 10% of the world’s population, these countries have only received 0.2 percent of the global supply of vaccines due to a severe shortage of usable doses.”
Stphane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO; Ugur Sahin, BioNTech’s CEO and co-founder; Timothy Springer, an immunologist and Moderna’s founding investor; and Noubar Afeyan, Moderna’s chairman; Juan Lopez-Belmonte, chairman of ROVI, a company that manufactures and packages the Moderna vaccine; Robert Langer, a scientist and Moderna’s founding investor; and Zhu Tao, co-founder of Moderna
In addition to the nine new billionaires, the alliance discovered that the wealth of eight current billionaires has increased by more than $32 billion, which is enough to completely vaccinate India, according to the party.
The People’s Vaccine Alliance combed through the Forbes Rich List to “highlight the vast wealth being created for a handful of people from vaccines that were previously public funded,” according to the organization.
In a statement, Anna Marriott, a health policy manager at the global charity Oxfam, said, “What a testament to our collective inability to contain this cruel epidemic that we rapidly produce new vaccine billionaires but completely fail to vaccinate the billions who urgently need to feel healthy.”
The People’s Vaccine Alliance published its findings ahead of the G20 Global Health Summit this week. G20 leaders are split on whether or not to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 vaccines should be produced as global common goods, free of intellectual property rights, and made available to all citizens in the world, according to the alliance. This is a condensed version of the information.