Does Pfizer have a conscience?

Pfizer has held a vaccine monopoly, blocking low-income countries from accessing its novel technology, while enriching shareholders at levels advocates for vaccine equity label “obscene.” The corporation is making as much as $1 million in profits every hour from vaccine sales, according to Oxfam, and its executives boast that revenues will expand exponentially in 2022. (The Atlantic)

Hailing 2021 as “a watershed year” for the company, and predicting more than $50 billion in sales this year for its Covid-19 vaccine and a new therapeutic drug, CEO Albert Bourla declared Tuesday that the opportunities created in this pandemic moment “have fundamentally changed our company forever.”

With its bottom line dramatically enhanced by profits from Covid vaccines, overall revenues for Pfizer doubled to more than $81 billion in 2021, and the company is looking to make as much as $102 billion this year.

Pfizer’s annual revenues are now “more than the GDP of the majority of countries,” according to an analysis of World Bank data by the group Global Justice Now.

Pfizer continues to resist calls for it to license its vaccine technology, arguing in a November 2021 statement to Bloomberg, “The industry is already well on its way to producing enough vaccines for the entire world.”

Pfizer’s results today are clear evidence of how the company has used its monopoly to enrich its shareholders at the expense of almost half the world’s population who still have no access to lifesaving vaccines.

Given that Pfizer’s partner, BioNTech, developed its vaccine with debt financing from the publicly owned European Investment Bank and a grant worth roughly $500 million from the German government, and that the company has benefited from generous contract arrangements with governments of wealthy countries, campaigners have ripped into the pharmaceutical giant for failing to bend when it comes to sharing life-saving vaccine recipes.

One has to wonder how their CEO sleeps and whether employees of Pfizer are proud? Sure they developed a vaccine but isn’t it a moral responsibility to share it with the world? How much profit is enough?