Why are my tax dollars buying vaccines for other countries?

Chew Toy McCoy

Pleb
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
5,027
Reaction score
7,755

I just have a few points to make on what I assume is supposed to be a feel good story.

1. When the "US buys something" that's our tax dollars paying for it. Normally I'm not too bothered by this except for the next 2 points.

2. In this case our tax dollars are going to big pharma, cause you know, they are really hurting for money and are a pillar of charity and generosity most of the time.

3. If they passed the patent waiver then other countries could just manufacturer the vaccines themselves. Cost us nothing, but I guess the bigger victim we should be worried about is costing big pharma profits.
 

SuperMatt

Site Master
Vaccinated
Posts
6,798
Reaction score
13,042
I would have preferred the patent waiver (or the vaccine companies being charitable and waiving it for the good of the world). But if this gets the disease under control worldwide, it is a win for America too. This is a great first step in re-establishing America as a true world leader. The xenophobic, chest-thumping, America-first policies that Trump thought made him look tough actually diminished our standing in the world.
 

Eric

Mama's lil stinker
Vaccinated
Posts
7,356
Reaction score
14,730
Location
California
Instagram
Main Camera
Sony
Even with patent waivers it will take time for third parties to get up to speed. Donating doses is the right thing to do, try to squash the darn beast ASAP.

Not saying that patent waivers would be bad, just that they‘re not a magic bullet.
This. We are all impacted by this thing and it makes sense to get it into as many arms possible as quickly as possible no matter the expense. I would rather see us spend money on this than some stupid senseless war or something.
 

Scepticalscribe

Site Master
Vaccinated
Posts
6,158
Reaction score
8,846
This is the sort of thread title - that, were it to appear on MR - would set my teeth on edge, and have me grinding my teeth.

Might I recommend a title change to querying why public funds should support (the profits of) private pharma companies.

Even with patent waivers it will take time for third parties to get up to speed. Donating doses is the right thing to do, try to squash the darn beast ASAP.

Not saying that patent waivers would be bad, just that they‘re not a magic bullet.

As @Eric - who has signalled agreement (as do I, and for the same reason) with @Pumbaa - quoted above, says - it is the right thing to do.

So, I have no quarrel with anyone's tax dollars, or any other taxable currency (in what is, to be quite frank, a wealthy country) funding, financing, purchasing, buying vaccines for other countries, above all, those that can ill afford them.

Not only do I not have a quarrel with this policy, instead, I whole-heartedly and passionately approve of it.
 
U

User.45

Guest

I just have a few points to make on what I assume is supposed to be a feel good story.

1. When the "US buys something" that's our tax dollars paying for it. Normally I'm not too bothered by this except for the next 2 points.

2. In this case our tax dollars are going to big pharma, cause you know, they are really hurting for money and are a pillar of charity and generosity most of the time.

3. If they passed the patent waiver then other countries could just manufacturer the vaccines themselves. Cost us nothing, but I guess the bigger victim we should be worried about is costing big pharma profits.
Cost- and time-efficiency. Happy to contribute to the eradication of COVID with my tax $s. This doesn't prevent anybody from punishing big pharma for cartelling drug prices (see insulin).

Edit: I'll also say that being generous in working on eradicating a disease is what pushes a super power towards the "good guys'" side of the spectrum and its the supreme achievement of a nation to elevate humanity. The funny thing about altruism is that it's not entirely self-less at all, it's just a moderate-risk very long-term investment.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
Chew Toy McCoy

Chew Toy McCoy

Pleb
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
5,027
Reaction score
7,755
We should have been talking about the patent waiver back when the vaccines were being developed, not still debating it now while we're literally flushing doses down the toilet because of our anti-vax idiots.

This is the sort of thread title - that, were it to appear on MR - would set my teeth on edge, and have me grinding my teeth.

Might I recommend a title change to querying why public funds should support (the profits of) private pharma companies.

I totally understand that sentiment but after thinking about it I don't think changing the title would make much of a difference in the responses. They'd still largely be "I don't have a problem with this" -centric. My wording just made it into a more selfish argument which is usually the preoccupation of the right, which admittedly makes it easier to blow off or be offended by.
 
OP
Chew Toy McCoy

Chew Toy McCoy

Pleb
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
5,027
Reaction score
7,755
This doesn't prevent anybody from punishing big pharma for cartelling drug prices (see insulin).

Big pharma is the US's biggest drug cartel, completely protected and rewarded by the government and this is just another example of exactly that. Marijuana is now widely accepted for health and medical purposes but nobody is going to give the Central and South American drug cartels a pass because they happened to sell something that has some positive effects.
 

Scepticalscribe

Site Master
Vaccinated
Posts
6,158
Reaction score
8,846
We should have been talking about the patent waiver back when the vaccines were being developed, not still debating it now while we're literally flushing doses down the toilet because of our anti-vax idiots.



I totally understand that sentiment but after thinking about it I don't think changing the title would make much of a difference in the responses. They'd still largely be "I don't have a problem with this" -centric. My wording just made it into a more selfish argument which is usually the preoccupation of the right, which admittedly makes it easier to blow off or be offended by.

The thread title confuses the principle of publicly buying vaccines for other countries (which I support and applaud) with the specific US circumstances whereby "big pharma" may benefit unduly from such a policy (something specific to unique US conditions), which I think less than relevant in the wider discussion.

As a European, US standards not only don't apply to me, but, very often, they appal me.
 
U

User.45

Guest
Big pharma is the US's biggest drug cartel, completely protected and rewarded by the government and this is just another example of exactly that. Marijuana is now widely accepted for health and medical purposes but nobody is going to give the Central and South American drug cartels a pass because they happened to sell something that has some positive effects.
Did Bio-N-Tech innovate? Yes. Did Pfizer buy them and match them with their production line? Yes. Did Pfizer end up innovating? YES!
This is legit earned money and I have no qualms with that as long as they pay taxes on it (which they don't LOL).

I'm using the term cartel as defined by wiki:
A cartel is a group of independent market participants who collude with each other in order to improve their profits and dominate the market. Cartels are usually associations in the same sphere of business, and thus an alliance of rivals. Most jurisdictions consider it anti-competitive behavior and have outlawed such practices. Cartel behavior includes price fixing, bid rigging, and reductions in output. The doctrine in economics that analyzes cartels is cartel theory.
We're still largely using the same insulin products I studied about 15 years ago, so there's no real innovation, yet the prices are propped up.

The illegal cannabis trade is a bad comparison as there's no innovation, but lots of violence.
 
OP
Chew Toy McCoy

Chew Toy McCoy

Pleb
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
5,027
Reaction score
7,755
Did Bio-N-Tech innovate? Yes. Did Pfizer buy them and match them with their production line? Yes. Did Pfizer end up innovating? YES!
This is legit earned money and I have no qualms with that as long as they pay taxes on it (which they don't LOL).

I'm using the term cartel as defined by wiki:

We're still largely using the same insulin products I studied about 15 years ago, so there's no real innovation, yet the prices are propped up.

The illegal cannabis trade is a bad comparison as there's no innovation, but lots of violence.

This is way more your wheel house I'm dipping into here. So corrections are welcome.

Doesn't the majority of pharmaceutical research get done with our tax dollars and then big pharma aquires it, names it, does an ass ton of marketing, and then charges whatever they feel like?

As far as the cartel comparison, the pharmaceutical industry created the opioid crisis. How many lives did that cost...and continue to cost, not to mention the criminal addict behavior. So a few became the fall guy, paid the ticket, and AFAIK opioid products are still on the market despite all this. I fully expect it to follow the Wall St cyclical model of wreak havoc, pay some minor fees and maybe apologize, lay low on it for a bit, and repeat.
 

Scepticalscribe

Site Master
Vaccinated
Posts
6,158
Reaction score
8,846
Still disagree with the title, re both principle and the perspective (which is confined to the US, the US is not the only country on this planet), which means that it is misleading.

Why are my tax dollars subsidising big pharma is a legitimate question to ask for the US; however, the title as written suggests an insular - and ungenerous - refual to wish to support struggling societies and countries on the provision of Covid vaccines, an unconscionable stance, to my mind.

If this thread title had appeared on MR, I'd not have dignified it with a reply.
 
OP
Chew Toy McCoy

Chew Toy McCoy

Pleb
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
5,027
Reaction score
7,755
The thread title confuses the principle of publicly buying vaccines for other countries (which I support and applaud) with the specific US circumstances whereby "big pharma" may benefit unduly from such a policy (something specific to unique US conditions), which I think less than relevant in the wider discussion.

As a European, US standards not only don't apply to me, but, very often, they appal me.

I don't think the title confuses the issue. It puts focus on the other side of the coin that people don't want to talk about while they're hugging each other over the charitable aspect of it.

To be clear, I am not against my tax dollars going towards this. I'm saying there are other avenues to get the same results that don't involve my tax dollars that ultimately doesn't end up in the pocket of an industry that doesn't need it and already abuses the system. That's where I'm trying to push the discussion and debate.

And I realize I'm piling even higher right wing on this one, but are these other countries going to pay for any of it? Did we ask? Did they offer? Would the financial side of it play out differently if we just said "Here's the recipe, some training, and some related infrastructure experts"? Would they make it happen or volley back with "Really appreciate it, but we can't afford to do any of that."? From what I've read that isn't the issue, but we're just reflexively going "Don't worry about it. Our tax payers got you covered for everything." I realize everything I just said there will disgust some people, but I'm hoping some people can take the emotion out of it and think about it logically.
 
OP
Chew Toy McCoy

Chew Toy McCoy

Pleb
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
5,027
Reaction score
7,755
Still disagree with the title, re both principle and the perspective (which is confined to the US, the US is not the only country on this planet), which means that it is misleading.

Why are my tax dollars subsidising big pharma is a legitimate question to ask for the US; however, the title as written suggests an insular - and ungenerous - refual to wish to support struggling societies and countries on the provision of Covid vaccines, an unconscionable stance, to my mind.

If this thread title had appeared on MR, I'd not have dignified it with a reply.

I get where you are coming from, but are your tax dollars paying for any of this? I'm not trying to exclude people outside the US from the discussion, but that is the focus of this thread.
 
U

User.45

Guest
Doesn't the majority of pharmaceutical research get done with our tax dollars and then big pharma aquires it, names it, does an ass ton of marketing, and then charges whatever they feel like?
Not really. NIH funded research is public domain, though you can still patent aspects of it, which I don't exactly know how it works.
Pharma does a ton of drug discovery and development and they spend huge bucks on drug testing, and late phase clinical trials. A phase III cancer trial costs 100K per patient ant involves many hundreds of patients. That's run by pharma with the collab of academic institutions.

As far as the cartel comparison, the pharmaceutical industry created the opioid crisis. How many lives did that cost...and continue to cost, not to mention the criminal addict behavior. So a few became the fall guy, paid the ticket, and AFAIK opioid products are still on the market despite all this. I fully expect it to follow the Wall St cyclical model of wreak havoc, pay some minor fees and maybe apologize, lay low on it for a bit, and repeat.
The opioid crisis was not only big pharma... it was also non-medical management leaching on healthcare providers. The quickest way to get in trouble as a physician is to be claimed to be undertreating patient's *pain*. I personally had a very very very very strict policy on narcs as a resident, as I've spent many nights as an intern arguing with people who wanted their Piña Dilada (hydromorphone, 2mg IV) with some Benadryl chaser (boosts the high). Hospital administrators come and try to convince you to give the opiate so the hospitals HCAHPS score gets high (pun intended). The opioid epidemic came with some of these greedy people trying to convince healthcare providers that we are in the medical hospitality business. In reality, less satisfied patients have shorter hospital stays and better outcomes, with lower resource utilization.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Scepticalscribe

Site Master
Vaccinated
Posts
6,158
Reaction score
8,846
I don't think the title confuses the issue. ...

To be clear, I am not against my tax dollars going towards this.
If that is the case, well, yes, to my mind, your thread title does confuse the issue.

The title asks why "your" tax dollars are buying vaccines for other countries.

By framing this as a question, you infer disapproval of the action.
 
OP
Chew Toy McCoy

Chew Toy McCoy

Pleb
Vaccinated
Site Donor
Posts
5,027
Reaction score
7,755
What is the focus of this thread? American taxpayers whining?

To be clear, I am not against my tax dollars going towards this. I'm saying there are other avenues to get the same results that don't involve my tax dollars that ultimately doesn't end up in the pocket of an industry that doesn't need it and already abuses the system. That's where I'm trying to push the discussion and debate.
 

SuperMatt

Site Master
Vaccinated
Posts
6,798
Reaction score
13,042
I think taxpayers should be much more concerned about the richest members of society not being taxpayers at all.

I understand the point of the thread. Why are we collectively giving money to big Pharma? They killed countless thousands with opioids, and when it came time for them to be held accountable, they declared bankruptcy. How can they be “bankrupt” when they still have billions in their pockets?

Our system is absolutely rigged for the rich, and nixing this patent in this one exceptional case in order to help the entire world would have been a better choice. If they can be “let off the hook” for the opioid epidemic, they can make a bit of a sacrifice sometimes too.
 
Top Bottom