Anti-vaccine activists support Big Pharma profits — my irony meter dies

I have written about this topic before — the anti-vaccine movement is secretly helping Big Pharma profits. Why? Because Big Pharma makes a lot more money from people spending time in the hospital than they will ever make from vaccines. If Big Pharma executives were as evil as anti-vaxxers claim, they’d actually get rid of vaccines and let the profits roll into their coffers.

The anti-vaccine conspiracy theories about Big Pharma profits are amusing — Pfizer would much rather have a blockbuster drug like Viagra rather than a vaccine. The real conspiracy is how anti-vaxxers are giving much larger profits to Big Pharma, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So I’m taking my general calculations for Big Pharma profits and applying them to the pandemic. Spoiler alert — Big Pharm is benefitting greatly from every single person who refuses the vaccine and ends up in the hospital. Let’s take a look.

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

Big Pharma profits from hospitalization

A study, published 22 December 2021 online in KFF, examined the cost of hospitalizing unvaccinated individuals from June through November 2021. They estimated the preventable costs of treating these patients at US$13.8 billion during the six-month period.

They provided a detailed breakdown of their estimates for the time period of June through August 2021.

So, during that time period, KFF estimated that 342,000 unvaccinated adults were hospitalized primarily for COVID-19. They also estimate that about 84% of those individuals had a vaccine-preventable COVID-19 (because vaccines are not 100% effective). They also estimated that each hospital admission averaged around US$20,000. This totaled around US$5.7 billion for the time period.

Of course, not all US$20,000 goes to Big Pharma. That amount includes the cost of the hospital, labor (physicians, nurses, techs, orderlies), equipment, and whatever else the hospital charges. It’s really hard to determine what percentage of that bill ends up in Big Pharma’s hands, but a conservative estimate of about 20%, or about US$1.14 billion.

In this case, Big Pharma means not only drugs, but also fluids, disposable devices (like syringes and catheters), and other products sold by Big Pharma and their subsidiaries.

Now, let’s assume that all 342,000 people were vaccinated:

  • The Pfizer vaccine costs US$19.50 per dose (compared to US$15 per dose for Moderna). Let’s just use the more expensive Pfizer vaccine, which means those 342,000 people would have cost about US$6.67 million. That’s million.
  • Medicare (and other helath insurance companies) allow US$40 per vaccination, so let’s throw that into the cost of vaccines — another US$13.68 million.
  • So the total cost of vaccinating those 342,000 people was around US$20.35 million. Compare that to Big Pharma income from people in hospitals of US$1.14 billion, it’s obvious if Big Pharma were really greedy and irresponsible, they would throw all of the COVID-19 vaccines into a trash heap and wait for the money to roll in from all of the sick people in the hospital.

Even if the patient is not hospitalized, the medication costs (and we’re not including the worthless ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine) for treating COVID-19 are massive:

  • Remdesivir costs over US$3,100 per treatment course. Compare that to the US$19.50 vaccine.
  • Regeneron charges US$1,250 per infusion, while other monoclonal antibodies costs about US$2,100 per infusion. That US$19.50 vaccine seems like a good deal.

Big Hospital and Big Pharma (along with Big Mortuary) would love that there were no COVID-19 vaccines. They would be happy charging billions of dollars to Medicare, Medicaid, your healthcare insurance, or to the bill collector instead of getting the $40 to deliver a vaccine.

If we had no COVID-19 vaccines, these numbers would be worse. If we had no vaccines, and if just 2% of Americans ended up in the hospital, it would have cost us over US$120 billion. Big Pharma and Big Hospital would need to build new banks to take in all that money.

crop anonymous person calculating profit on smartphone calculator near banknotes
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on


Anti-vaccine activists want us to believe that vaccines are all about Big Pharma raking in immense profits. I’m not naïve, I know that vaccines are profitable, but they aren’t profitable like a new drug to treat high blood pressure or erectile dysfunction.

If Big Pharma executives were truly greedy, they would have thrown out the recipe for COVID-19 vaccines, because an unimaginable COVID-19 pandemic without vaccines would have sent much higher profits to Big Pharma.

If anti-vaxxers want to create a ridiculous conspiracy theory about Big Pharma, they ought to be consistent — they make much higher profits without vaccines.

As Dr. Jonathan Howard wrote in his analysis of Big Pharma profits:

It’s common knowledge that anti-vaxxers are dedicated to filling the coffers of Big Coffin. Simple math leads to another obvious conclusion: they also work extremely hard to enrich hospitals and Big Pharma. Make sure they know that.

Sounds legit.

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