Drop the covid 19 patents you grasping parasites!

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Jonas Salk led a team for six years at the University of Pittsburg to come up with a vaccine for polio.

Polio – sometimes called infantile paralysis – was a virus which affected children in particular, leaving many paralysed or with weak limbs requiring crutches and wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. For some it meant death.

The research for a vaccine was publicly funded, achieved in part with a “march of dimes”, national campaign launched in the US in 1947.

Salk’s team finally came up with a vaccine in 1955 and immediately announced the team chose not to patent the vaccine or seek any profit from it in order to maximize its global distribution.

Compare this selfless approach to the common good of humanity with the refusal of the big pharmaceutical giants to give up their patent rights for Covid 19 and allow worldwide distribution to all of humanity.

Imagine the sheer hideousness of the World Trade Organisation – an international bastion of free market capitalism – meeting to discuss suspension of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.

They have met for many months but have made no progress because – surprise surprise – the big pharmaceutical giants are using their governments to block waivers.

Just last Friday the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced its member nations had again failed to agree to suspend intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines.

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South Africa and India are reported to be leading the drive for patent waivers “in order to boost production and address the gaping inequality in access between rich and poor nations”.

COVID vaccination rates are on average 30 times higher in rich countries than in poor countries. Many rich countries are now considering rolling out third doses of vaccines while billions of people have yet to get access to a first.

Aotearoa New Zealand, in public at least, supports a waiver but there isn’t much sign of any real pressure being put on the likes of Pfizer to give up, or at least suspend, its patents during the global covid pandemic.

They care much more for the tens of billions in profits coming in for their wealthy grasping shareholders than any concept of the common good.

These big companies always claim if they are not allowed to make big profits then this will stifle the vital research they do and will suppress innovation. It’s all rubbish of course because these global companies spend a lot more on advertising than they do on research.

Meanwhile almost half of the countries in Africa have full vaccination rates below 2% of their populations.

WTO chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said the yawning chasm in vaccination rates between the haves and the have nots was “devastating for the lives and livelihoods of Africans” and “morally unacceptable”. She’s right!

Our government should register Aotearoa New Zealand’s outrage at the grasping parasites of the pharmaceutical world.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Premiums on life saving technology is exactly why China boomed in the last 15yrs especially. Guess our masters learnt nothing. Good help the U.K and America if the African continent ever industrialized. For fucks sack, be careful.

  2. You did well to reference the Salk vaccine for polio. Schools closed in New Zealand during the polio epidemic too. Mild cases of polio from which children recovered were later identified much further along the track, here in New Zealand, as possible causes of horrific adult motor neurone disease from which there is no recovery, and usually a long and torturous death. It happened in my whanau.

    There are future unknowns with epidemics, which is another reason why universal vaxxing makes sense, and why the very public stupidity of eg Brian Tamaki is so reprehensible.

  3. Unbridled Capitalism/Neo Liberalism drives a financial system that has no conscience.
    Governments come and go in this environment but rarely have the courage or rationale to challenge and ultimately change the craven instincts of an ‘only profit matters’ business and banking sector.
    For every “big pharma” company on the threshold of a covid 19 vaccine there is a bank calculating and forecasting maximum profit gain at every stage of their rapacity.
    The word on everyone’s lips in the room is of course ENDEMIC.
    Appreciate your contribution JM.

  4. Am I mistaken in thinking that Pharmac was set up to ensure that medicines were affordable for all New Zealanders? And now it’s also just become part of the Big Pharma gravy train.

  5. Am I mistaken in thinking that Pharmac was set up to ensure that medicines were affordable for all New Zealanders? And now it’s also just become part of the Big Pharma gravy train?
    They haven’t even got the courage or the expertise or the will to organise something as simple as NZ grown medicinal cannabis products. Got a life threatening problem costing hundreds of dollars a month? Too bad. We’ll decide whether we fund it or not.

  6. Am I mistaken in thinking that Pharmac was set up to ensure that medicines were affordable for all New Zealanders? And now it’s also just become part of the Big Pharma gravy train?
    They haven’t even got the courage or the expertise or the will to organise something as simple as NZ grown medicinal cannabis products. Got a life threatening problem costing hundreds of dollars a month? Too bad. We’ll decide whether we fund it or not.

  7. ” Our government should register Aotearoa New Zealand’s outrage at the grasping parasites of the pharmaceutical world ”

    I lay money down that shyster Key has shares in Pfizer just reading between the lines with his latest incursion into the political debate.

    John how can you expect that our government that is an agent for neo liberal consensus would ever express outrage at anything that would deny their own and their donors a steady stream of returns on their investments.

    There is despite the election of a majority Social Democrat government an ever present betrayal of the many who languish in destitution and the slavery of sub existence might just decide to mobilise under a new movement that will say no more this country belongs to us and our children not rich entitled pricks.

  8. I’ve just spoken to my dead yet actively involved dog and she told me that the sooner all humans are dead and gone from the planet the better and all the other animals, and plants, agreed.

  9. This problem, despite how huge it feels in its own right, is a tiny part of the real problem. the real problem is the idea that human intellect can be treated as property, EVER. Clever people should be rewarded for their solutions to problems. Companies may have an edge on the market for a small time for supporting the genius of the scientist, inverter etc. but buying and selling the human intellect as though it is a house or car is the most evil concept to come out of the twentieth century, Human genius belongs to humanity. To store it, hide it and sell it is stupid, destructive and purely evil. I would not say anyone supporting it will go to hell. They are in hell already.

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