Batshit Crazy

While the recent vaccine news has brought hope, it also has exposed the pharmaceutical industry’s broken business model,

The fastest ever, finest ever, response to a pandemic is evidence of a broken business model.

Yep, that’s Mariana Mazzucato alright.

26 thoughts on “Batshit Crazy”

  1. Oxford/Astra Zeneca delivered a vaccine at cost in six months. It will take the Glorious State longer to stick it in everyone’s arm.

  2. This morning I spoke briefly to my elderly neighbour (well into her 80s but still pretty fit, no major issues). She has now had her second jab just 3 weeks after the first.

    The media reports a 12 week gap and expresses concerns that the second dose might not be given in all cases. From a sample of one I have to question the accuracy of what we are being told.

  3. I can’t be arsed to click on the link but the business model looks to me like this:
    1. Develop vaccine
    2. Get around tiresome safety protocols by offering at cost to desperate buyer
    3. Cross fingers no unusual side effects appear (see swine flu vaccine)
    4. Hope covid becomes endemic
    5. Yearly vaccination required for each mutation
    6. Raise price, roll in money.
    Damn fine model for business if you ask me.

  4. “Oxford/Astra Zeneca delivered a vaccine at cost in six months.”

    And others using the same-ish approach.. People do forget that this vaccine was not whipped up in 6 months…
    This type of vaccine has been researched and in development for decades. The first approaches already happened in the time I was still in Uni in the early ’90’s as part of research to more easily create specific antibodies in the sacrificial ( and often quite pampered) Cuddlies for various antigen-based detection methods.

    The vaccines have been adapted from base in nothing flat ( which is the point of this approach..) and use techniques and a medium that have already proven themselves. It’s just that the end product has to go through the Mill to ensure actual safety ( and prevent sueballs…).

    But the vaccine itself? Already got a decade of development under its belt, easy.

  5. Mariana Mazzacuto demonstrates her ignorance by questioning whether the vaccine prevents infection!?! The purpose of any vaccine is to generate a swift and effective response to an infection so that it is prevented from causing significant harm.
    She demonstrates her malice by questioning whether AstraZeneca will actually deliver the vaccine at cost – a publically quoted company is subject to a high level of audit scrutiny (particularly high for a FTSE-100 company) and AstraZeneca has a second level of audit from the NHS as part of the VPRS successor to the PPRS, and in this case a third level from Oxford which designed the vaccine. The third level is going to be conducted by people rather brighter than Ms Mazzacuto.
    The pharmaceutical industry has a business model that has increased UK life expectancy by two-thirds since Queen Victoria died. Most of the improvement during Victoria’s reign was thanks to public health changes – sewers etc – and improved working conditions; since then it has been overwhelmingly through eliminating and/or minimising disease (and fewer wars). She presumably thinks it is broken because it cannot increase life expectancy by two-thirds further from 81 …

  6. I applaud their wish to enable free things for all people, everywhere, and I’d happily shout this from the rooftops.

    But:

    Republication forbidden—copyright Project Syndicate 2020: ‘Designing vaccines for people, not profits’

  7. The business model is:
    develop 500 treatments
    pay to get them trialled, tested, and approved
    sell the one that gets through
    use that one to pay for all the wages of the people who worked on the other 499

    Of course, the “repaired” business model is:
    pick the one treatment out of 500 potential avenues that will work after five years’ develop and testing
    don’t pay any of the people who developed it
    scream how evil capitalists are foreclosing on research biologists’ mortgages

  8. “The media reports a 12 week gap and expresses concerns that the second dose might not be given in all cases. ”
    Inertia. If the second appointment has already been made the NHS will probably decide not to confuse people by cancelling it.

  9. “If the second appointment has already been made the NHS will probably decide not to confuse people by cancelling it.”

    I don’t actually think that’s the case – they have been cancelling appointments. And as the good Doc here points out, she never gave consent for that (for a novel change that never formed any part of the earlier trial process):

    https://twitter.com/farrell_katrina/status/1344610377565405184

  10. Mazzucato might be the exception that tests the rule: nobody can be more stupid and unpleasant than Superspud

  11. @John Lewis, my parents-in-law are getting their first jabs this week. My mother hasn’t had her’s yet.

  12. The Mazzucato et al article contains the sentence “The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has received more than £1 billion ($1.3 billion) of public funding.”. The words “more than £1 billion” link to an ox.ac.uk page which says that “The Government has announced £65.5 million of new funding for the vaccine” which is rather smaller. The words “public funding” link to a CEPI page which says “CEPI will invest a total of up to $383m in this partnership” (i.e. Oxford/AZ) – also rather smaller than a billion. It seems the billion is the funding for CEPI (see https://cepi.net/get_involved/support-cepi/) for its vaccine project, some of which was from the private sector, so not public funding. So rather a distorted view, I tink.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ Oxford/Astra Zeneca delivered a vaccine at cost in six months. It will take the Glorious State longer to stick it in everyone’s arm.”

    From my reading so far they’ve kept up with supply with only only one serious problem on the first day.

    Contrast this to Germany where they out (IIRC) 8 people in hospital by giving them an overdose and France where it appears to be a complete disaster.

    I’m prepared to give credit where it’s due and so far it appears to be, could be because they’ve had 60+ Royal Logistics Corp personnel embedded with the NHS for the past 3 months planning the programme.

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    Here’s the CMOS letter to health professionals explains why they’ve changed the process and what it means. It includes a link to the evidence review by the JCVI.

    Whilst not being a scientist it seemed reasonable to me and isn’t this what we want government to do – in a fast moving situation when the information changes react to it?

  15. BiND- yes they did impressive- and others failed. GSK and sanofi’s failed the trial. The word is they had an immune response but far too weak and it’s due to a miscalculation of the dosage. So peeps get it wrong, they’ll change it but it’ll take another 6 months to demonstrate effectiveness/safety. So the other point- thankfully not all our eggs are in one state owned basket.

  16. I read that the vaccine is based on part on the old SARS outbreak from over a decade ago, just happy coincidence that there was a high degree of similarity in the viruses that allowed the ‘quick’ development

  17. Talking of eggs, is the vaccine vegan friendly? From my undergraduate days I seem to remember that vaccines are cultured by growing them in hens’ eggs.

  18. So Much For Subtlety

    jgh January 5, 2021 at 11:51 pm – “Talking of eggs, is the vaccine vegan friendly? From my undergraduate days I seem to remember that vaccines are cultured by growing them in hens’ eggs.”

    Most of the vaccines have been produced using aborted foetus tissue. I know of vegans who refuse to use vaccines produced in eggs, but will they refuse to use one that uses human tissue?

    I know (mostly “know of”, it is a long story) a vegan who refused to perform oral sex for this reason. How genuine do I think that was? Not very.

  19. The real story, of course, is that the virus has exposed the National Health Service’s broken model.

    Imagine health services supplied by British Leyland, and facing zero competition forever…

  20. Wat I agree; I don’t think the NHS are doing entirely terrifically either. We’re 29th in the world for cases of covid per million population (so only 28 countries have a higher infection rate than us), but for deaths we are an apalling 11th – and that before the effects of the post-Christmas surge kick in.
    So however badly the government is doing on prevention, the NHS seems to be doing even worse on keeping victims alive.

  21. The Vatican issued an announcement regarding the use of aborted foetus tissue that lets catholic’s off the hook

  22. the author says there should be a “peoples vaccine” (what a load of wank) and it should be free. At the same time she says that Western Govts have pumped billions into the development of these vaccines (ie through taxing their citizens) but it’s unfair that these vaccines are going first to the citizens of those countries who have paid for these vaccines (9which only seems fair). I’m sorry but if the second/third world can’t be arsed to spend their money on research, but on nuclear weapons, mercedes benzs for the kleptocrats etc then tough shit. The West has pumped billions into these shitholes and the only result is more people and a constant flow of spongers into the west.

  23. Grikath–if the shite is so wonderful and has ten years of development behind it–which should have given them plenty of testing time–why have political scum ensured you cant sue if it fucks you up? Nothing to hide nothing to fear is the phrase I believe.

    Meanwhile you can have my dose as well if you like. I wont be taking the crap.

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