The Zika Virus: Big Moneymaker for Big Pharma? | naked capitalism

By Gary Olson, Ph.D., a member of the political science department at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA.

[Note: The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency and some four million people may be infected this year. Zika may cause brain damage and unusually small heads in newborns—called microcephaly. Women who become infected while pregnant are at especially high risk.]

Uppyurs Pharmaceuticals, the drug manufacturing behemoth, is frantically attempting to vanquish rivals Novartis, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and others by producing a Zika vaccine. A copy of the minutes from a recent Uppyurs Executive Board meeting was surreptitiously obtained by the author.

According to the minutes, “If everything breaks right we will have a Zika vaccine on the market by mid-2018 and we anticipate revenues in the range of $7.5 billion dollars. Proceeding with this is a no-brainer.”

The report also reveals that $78.00 for a single Zika inoculation will price the vaccine out of reach for all but the wealthy in the world’s 35 poorest countries. One of our serious challenges is to neutralize a guilt-ridden American public’s demand to make the vaccine more accessible or even—God help us—free to poor people. Our strategy includes:

Uppyurs: Making the World Healthier for Those of Us Who Really Matter.


This meeting is adjourned and, as always, “God Bless America and God Bless Uppyurs!”