Health: Accusations about Big Pharma and Covid

The Story:

A writer in The New Republic has put together a compelling (although not a demonstrative) case that executives of some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have been manipulating their announcements to create predictable price jumps, and have been trading in their companies’ stocks in patterns that allow them to profit from those jumps. This is not merely a matter of “bad optics.” If the charge is true, this raises the specter of exaggerated and rushed ‘scientific’ claims driven by such insider trading. It could have distortive and dangerous consequences.

Significance:

The article is the work of Melody Schreiber, who is known for her newsletter, Not A Doctor, which treats of health, biopharm, and parenting issues.

One of her sources for the TNR story is Travis Whitfill, a health policy researcher at Yale.

In Pill Form:

Pfizer put out a press release saying that its Covid vaccine is 90% effective on the very same day that its CEO, Albert Bourla, sold $5.6 million in stock in the company.

Whitfill says of such practices, “When you have management that has made a quarter of a billion dollars this year off of their stock price before they launched the vaccine, I think that just tells you that they’re more interested in making money than they are distributing this vaccine to millions and billions of people worldwide.”

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