American’s Pockets Could Be Unable to Handle the Bill for the COVID-19 Vaccine

The health of Americans all over the country is something that a value cannot be attributed to, so stopping this killer virus that has swept over the country is important, no matter the damage done to the economy. But still, we are killing our economy perhaps more than the virus would have killed us. The model of pricing drugs for different treatments in the United States is highly business-centric, so getting treatment for COVID-19 might be entirely unaffordable for the average individual.

The Last Big Vaccine

For comparison, the last vaccine that was ever used to stop a disease that was spreading all around the globe was the vaccine for polio. With the polio vaccine, outbreaks of the disease that had already killed thousands of people and paralyzed tens of thousands for life just in the United States was stopped for good.

Back then, a foundation called The March of Dimes covered the nominal cost of the vaccine so that a free national program could be put in place. This enabled vaccinations even for the poorest of the poor.

What Has Changed

But that was back in the mid-1950s, quite some years before health insurance became commonplace, especially regarding outpatient care. But that was also before there were layers and layers of patents protecting every new drug.

That was before medical research was a way for big corporations to rack in a lot of money. Actually, in the spirit of the time, new drugs were not patented because they were not thought to be something that you can ethically patent.

A Grim Outlook

Things, however, have changed since the 1950s. Drug development is one of the most lucrative businesses in the world and the ownership of different patents is fought over for years in court by different companies.

What is even worse, monopolies mean that companies can set pretty much any price they want for their drugs. With all these factors taken into account, the average American might be unable to pay the bill for the COVID-19 vaccine.