Would We Have Already Had a COVID-19 Vaccine Under Socialism?
The public health crisis now hammering America reveals how vital it is to invest in research before it is desperately needed. But that’s not how market logic works. Instead of directing attention to what will protect the largest number of people from the greatest harm, capitalism steers innovation toward the largest profit in the shortest amount of time.
“Many vaccines used to be produced in the public sector; now the majority are produced in the private sector,” Dana Brown, director of the Next System Project at The Democracy Collaborative, explains. “Big Pharma is not well set up to bring a vaccine into the market: Vaccine development and production is a long, risky process requiring patient capital and sustained interest. Big Pharma focuses on short-term gains and maximizing shareholder value—there’s little, if any, gain for shareholders when companies invest in vaccine development.”