Nine New Big Pharma Billionaires Created On The Back Of Covid Vaccine Rollout

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Moderna and BioNTech CEO’s are at the top of a list of nine individuals who became billionaires on the back of the rollout of covid-19 vaccines, a group advocating turning vaccine receipts into a global public good said on Thursday.

The People’s Vaccine Alliance, a network of organisations and activists are calling for an end to pharmaceutical corporations’ “monopoly control” on vaccine technology.

Though much of the scientific research that went into the creation of the covid vaccines was paid for by taxpayer money, the private companies that hold monopolies on the resulting intellectual property (IP) are the ones that reap the financial rewards.

RT reports: That situation is unjust and should be changed, argues the People’s Vaccine Alliance, which is calling for the lifting of IP protections for the vaccines ahead of a G20 summit.

Validating the point is the change in the net wealth of the individuals linked to the pharmaceutical business, the group said. Forbes data updated in April shows that nine Big Pharma figures have become dollar billionaires since the beginning of the pandemic, as the stocks of vaccine manufacturers soared with the news of robust profits.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel is the richest new ‘vaccine billionaire,’ followed by Ugur Sahin, his counterpart from BioNTech. Each is now worth over $4 billion. Others on the list include three Moderna investors, the chair of a firm contracted to manufacture and package Moderna’s product, and the three co-founders of the Chinese vaccine producer CanSino Biologics.

Eight others, whose wealth had already topped the billion-dollar benchmark when the pandemic hit, have seen their wealth grow significantly. They include people linked to China’s Chongqing Zhifei Biological and Sinopharm, India’s Cadila Healthcare and the Serum Institute of India, and holders of BioNTech stock.

These billionaires are the human face of the huge profits many pharmaceutical corporations are making from the monopoly they hold on these vaccines,” said Anna Marriott, the health policy manager at charity Oxfam, a member of the Alliance. “We need to urgently end these monopolies so that we can scale up vaccine production, drive down prices, and vaccinate the world.”

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of another Alliance member, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, said it was “obscene that profits continue to come before saving lives,” as patent holders refused to share their technology.

Vaccine manufacturers and those like Bill Gates, who support IP protections for medicines, claim factors such as the shortage of proper production capacities in the developing world and logistical bottlenecks are holding back the global vaccination effort. Lifting patent protections won’t fix that and may make the rollout slower, not faster, they warn.

Governments are split on the proposal. South Africa and India asked for a waiver under World Trade Organization (WHO) rules, but the call was backed by dozens of poorer nations that felt they were being left behind by the better-faring countries. The effectiveness of COVAX, the WHO-endorsed vaccine-sharing mechanism meant to ensure equitable access, has been underwhelming at best, suffering from underfunding and undersupply.

The US and the EU said they were ready to consider some form of patent suspension, with the likes of Russia, France, and Spain indicating they would support such a move. Germany and the UK, on the other hand, have expressed their opposition.

The statement from the People’s Vaccine Alliance comes a day ahead of a G20 Global Health Summit, which will be held in Rome on Friday and will see pressure applied to participants defending vaccine patent protections.


  1. I’ve been saying, since I was 13 that no form of healthcare or education should EVER be allowed to be privatised and turned into a for profit operation Especially never ever healthcare in ANY aspect whatsoever Human nature is corruptible and every man has his price .And even as a government operation ir MUST be 100% totally absolutely blatantly transparent to public scrutiny in EVERY SINGLE aspect .

  2. The latest results from the UKs covid response group is that 1 in every 142 jabbed suffer an adverse reaction And the ratios changed dramatically over jabs as 6 months ago it was 1 in 333.They admit they believe only 1 in 10 or was it 100 , actually are reporting to hospitals with their adverse reactions .Even if it’s 10 then its 10 in 149 really or 1 in 14.9 people .And rising rapidly. I imagine globally it would be around in in 3 about 2 and a half billion people who will be making big pharma and his agents richer For decades into the future and their damaged genetically kids, grand kids, great grand kids Etcetera etcetera

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