Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Vaccine Billionaires - The Real Winners in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began 15 months ago, those of us that are paying attention realize that the pandemic has made many of society's wealthiest human beings even wealthier than they were before governments took it upon themselves to shutter many businesses, leaving major physical and online stores to pickup business that formerly was key to the health of Main Street Americans who owned small retail outlets.  One thing that we haven't heard very little about is the impact that the pandemic has had on a handful of vaccine company insiders, the subject of this posting.  


Thanks to research by the People's Vaccine Alliance, we know that the creation and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has created at least nine new billionaires since the beginning of the pandemic and has added significant wealth to other individuals who were already billionaires with substantial pharmaceutical holdings.  In large part, this is thanks to the monopolies that Big Pharma has on its experimental vaccines and the rapid purchasing and rolling out of these incompletely tested vaccines by some of the worlds largest economies. Thanks to substantial stock holdings by company insiders, the rise in share prices has resulted in substantial personal gain for highly placed executives.  


First, thanks to the pandemic, here is a table showing the nine newly minted vaccine billionaires and their net worth in order from highest to lowest:


Now, again with great thanks to the pandemic, here is a table showing the increase in wealth of the 8 individuals/families which have substantial investments in companies that are part of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout that were already pharmaceutical billionaires noting that the Struengmann family holds investments in BioNTech and Mega Pharma, Pankaj Patel controls Cadila Healthcare which manufactures drugs to treat COVID-19 and Immunity Bio was one of the companies selected by Washington to develop a COVID-19 vaccine:

Let's summarize.  The combined wealth of the nine newly minted vaccine billionaires totals $19.3 billion which, according to calculations by the People's Vaccine Alliance, would be sufficient to vaccinate all of the people living in the world's low-income nations 1.3 times.  The increase in wealth of the eight existing Big Pharma individuals totals $32.2 billion, sufficient to vaccinate the entire population of India.


Let's close with this quote from the People's Vaccine Alliance:


"These billionaires are the human face of the huge profits many pharmaceutical corporations are making from the monopoly they hold on these vaccines. These vaccines were funded by public money and should be first and foremost a global public good, not a private profit opportunity. We need to urgently end these monopolies so that we can scale up vaccine production, drive down prices and vaccinate the world.

1 comment: