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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 April 2020

Big pharma's profiteering holds back drug supply

Nationalise big pharma!, photo (public domain)

Nationalise big pharma!, photo (public domain)   (Click to enlarge)

Jon Dale, secretary, Unite union Nottinghamshire NHS branch (personal capacity)

All over the world, intensive research is taking place to find drugs to treat Covid-19. Good options would be finding existing drugs already used to treat other conditions. They would be quicker to take through safety trials and scale up production.

But how much would they cost? One possible combination of drugs is sofosbuvir/daclatasvir, which is used to treat Hepatitis C. A course of treatment in the United States costs $18,610. Liverpool University research shows the treatment could be produced for $5 - just 39 cents a day - and still make the pharmaceutical company 10% profit!

Another combination known as Kaletra, made by AbbVie and used for HIV, sells for $503 in the US - but could be produced for $4 a course. Pirfenidone, made by Roche, sells for $9,606 a course in the USA, but could be sold for $31 - $1.09 a day - at a profit.

The giant pharmaceutical corporations all over the world need to be in public ownership, not run for profit. Democratic control by medical experts, scientists, trade unions, communities affected by diseases and socialist governments could coordinate research and manufacturing capacity. Socialist planning would end today's blatant profiteering.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

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In The Socialist 14 April 2020:


Coronavirus news

MPs get 10k each for lockdown expenses - where's ours?

Dispatches from the front: NHS staff say give us PPE, not medals!

Johnson's hospitalisation: a tale of two treatments

Big pharma's profiteering holds back drug supply

Lockdown increases domestic violence calls - Tory money a drop in the ocean

NHS nurse: we're not wasting PPE - the Tories don't value us

Rapacious capitalism and the spread of coronavirus


What we think

Exit strategy? PPE and mass testing and workers' control of workplace safety

Fight back against the corona propaganda war


Transport

London Transport workers fighting private companies and TfL to secure health and safety


Workplace news

Unite opposes all cuts to domestic violence services

Passport workers forced back to offices as Home Office shirks its duty of care

Collectively demanding safe warehouse working conditions

Usdaw shop workers' union activists meet via Zoom

Coronavirus workplace news in brief


Labour

Sabotage - the inner workings of Labour's political machine exposed


Campaigns

Plymouth students discuss rent strike

Final push for May Day greetings

Socialist Party coronavirus crisis finance appeal

Join an online Socialist Party meeting during lockdown

The Socialist Party and socialist ideas are growing


Lessons from history

How the catastrophe of WW1 sparked revolution


Readers' opinion

Going viral: Socialist comments on the corona crisis


 

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Related links:

Pharmaceutical:

triangleCovid, vaccines, 'big pharma' - and the need for socialism

triangleBoots launches 120, 12-minute Covid test

triangleCapitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine

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triangleEnd profiteering from health - nationalise big pharma

triangleAnger after violent youth deaths - Communities need public services not cuts

triangleNationalise big pharma: end this profit-driven NHS crisis

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Socialist:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Are co-ops the answer to capitalist exploitation?

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: For a socialist Green New Deal

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