The wealthy farmer has always had partnerships with drug companies.
He doesn’t advertise them, but they are not actively hidden.
What is hidden though is his getting a percentage of every shot given of the AZ vaccine manufactured in India.
He gets about 50 cents a shot for the first 100 million shots and then about ten times that after the first 100 million shots.
The World Loses Under Bill Gates’ Vaccine Colonialism
Throughout the last two decades, Gates has repeatedly advocated for public health policies that bolster companies’ ability to exclude others from producing lifesaving drugs, including allowing the Gates Foundation itself to acquire substantial intellectual property. This continues through the Covid-19 pandemic. On top of steering the global health community towards Covax rather than patent-free technology sharing, last year Gates bragged about convincing Oxford University not to open-license its vaccine. Gates leveraged his $750 million donation to the university for vaccine research—even though its vaccine was developed in a publicly funded lab. Eventually, Oxford sold the sole right of production to AstraZeneca, with no guarantee of low prices and an extraordinary opportunity for profit.
Last October, recognizing that monopoly vaccine patents would be the norm and countries would have to compete against each other to purchase doses, a coalition of countries led by India and South Africa brought a patent waiver proposal to the World Trade Organization’s TRIPS (Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) council. As recently as a couple weeks ago, Bill Gates has continued to speak out against this proposal.
Gates’ argument about the TRIPS waiver—and the one being vociferously lobbied by pharmaceutical companies—is that waiving patent rights would not help poor countries scale up manufacturing and would instead eliminate incentives for future research. South Africa has strongly rebutted concerns about manufacturing capacity, and it is undeniable that waiving patent rights could only increase vaccination rates worldwide. Although this alone wouldn’t give poorer countries the instructions to make that vaccine, that is exactly why Biden must support a crucial aspect of the TRIPS proposal—mandating technology transfer for how to produce the vaccine.
Moreover, vaccine companies have profited more than enough from their investments. Pfizer spent $3 billion in vaccine research but stands to make $26 billion in vaccine sales in 2021. As economist Jayati Ghosh explained, massive government subsidies, including $12 billion from the US alone, seemed to almost entirely cover the cost of vaccine research. It is no secret that Moderna’s vaccine was basically entirely funded by the US government.
It should come as no surprise that a monopolist billionaire-philanthropist is committed to the monopolistic status quo—Rob Reich and I had Bill Gates in mind when we wrote about the risks of relying on elite philanthropists to make decisions crucial to our health and democracy early in the pandemic. Prior to the Biden administration’s reversal, there was mounting criticism of Bill Gates’ role in the West’s vaccine hoarding. In the wake of the political reversal and news of Gates’ big-dollar divorce, that critical eye has seemed to move on. Yet full tech transfer hasn’t happened, TRIPS negotiations are extremely slow, and we can only assume that we will have this same dilemma in the next public health crises (or for that matter, in Bill Gates’ other main philanthropic area of interest, climate change). – Source
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