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Was Trump justified to try to buy the rights to a COVID-19 vaccine? Show more Show less
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The American President made his mark on the world in business. Hotels, golfing resorts, universities, casinos, TV production, you name it...So is it any surprise the former reality television star offered a 'large sum' for exclusive rights to the Coronavirus vaccine? In a global economy built on the sale of goods and services, this move was hardly extraordinary. Yet, the pandemic has now reached the furthest corners of our world with hideous effects. Was Trump justified in making his offer?

Healthcare is a privilege Show more Show less

In the US, healthcare is a business. And pharmaceuticals don't come cheap. Why would this change fundamentally simply because the virus extends beyond US borders?
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The pharmaceuticals industry is not a charity

Offering $1 billion for the drug is not unheard of. The industry is worth over $340 billion and growing. Drugs are made for profit.
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The Argument

Like all businesses, the pharmaceutical industry's goal is to ultimately make as much money as the boundaries of supply and demand will allow, and they have to do so in order to remain in operation. Therefore, as the pandemic provides a high demand for a vaccine, the cost of such a drug is driven upwards. This is likewise assisted by the cost of pharmaceutical research on such a disease. [1] Furthermore, pharmaceutical companies do not have an unlimited amount of resources to produce vaccines and medications that are not in demand. In other words, running clinical trials is laborious and, in turn, expensive. Additionally, it often comes with high entrepreneurial risk. Thus, in order to cover the cost of such development, drugs will cost money. Such economic understanding is granted to the weapons/ammunition industries as well as the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry makes money off the health of millions, however, when a tobacco ban is discussed it fails to pass due to the jobs they provide. Therefore, the same understanding should be allotted to companies within the pharmaceutical industry. [2]

Counter arguments

Businesses within the pharmaceutical industry have a moral obligation to provide fairly priced drugs. They should not use consumers as a means to profit without prioritizing fair access to medication. Specifically, the central problem within the pharmaceutical industry is simply that there is a lack of competition— an aspect that is heavily protected by current drug patent laws. The potential to profit that arises from these protected monopolized drugs incentivizes companies to raise prices to obscene levels. As a result, patients are unable to acquire medication they need to survive. This is inherently wrong. [3] As citizens, we should call on policymakers to follow plans set forth by both President Clinton and Trump who believe that allowing Americans to import drugs (that meet FDA standards) from other countries will create competition, and drive down prices.[3]

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://truecostofhealthcare.org/the_pharmaceutical_industry/
  2. https://www.dw.com/en/opinion-pharmaceutical-companies-are-not-charities/a-19010254
  3. https://sevenpillarsinstitute.org/pharmaceutical-industry-ethics/#:~:text=From%20a%20deontological%20perspective%2C%20pharmaceutical,prioritizing%20fair%20access%20to%20medication.

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This page was last edited on Sunday, 28 Jun 2020 at 01:48 UTC