In part one, we discussed the troubling history of Emergent Biosolutions. In part two we look at the future implications and what it means for you.
Emergent Biosolutions And Pandemics
The aim of the company has always been gaining monopoly by fulfilling government demand for vaccines. As a result, the company has acquired other vaccine monopolies such as the smallpox vaccine license and an exclusive license for an opioid overdose mitigation drug called Narcan during pandemics.
In 2018, the opioid crisis was the nation’s top health concern. Emergent’s crisis response was the acquisition of the only Narcan producing company in the United States that has FDA approval. One dose of Narcan is currently $150. Emergent BioSolutions continues to sue any company that seeks to compete by producing a generic and cheaper version of Narcan.
What About COVID-19? How Will Emergent Profit From The Pandemic?
Emergent COVID-19 Partners
In early March, Emergent partnered with Novavax with the intention of developing a vaccine for the novel virus. CEPI (The Bill Gates Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness) is currently backing the development of the Novavax COVID vaccine. Emergent then extended its partnership with Novavax later in March. One week later, the company partnered with VaxArt, another candidate for the developer of the COVID vaccine.
The VaxArt vaccine is set to be an oral vaccine with more significant advantages to the Novavax vaccine. Oral vaccines offer greater temperature stability, accessibility, coverage, and self-administration qualities. Additionally, Emergent is set to develop two blood plasma treatments that are experimental at the moment.
COVID Vaccine Rapid Growing Assets
The company has so far received 14.5 million dollars for the development of these plasma treatments from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).
Emergent is also set to profit from the development and manufacturing of the one billion doses of vaccines promised by Johnson & Johnson for the global emergency pandemic use. The latter contract is set at $135 million.
The Mandatory Vaccine Controversies
It is evident that the novel virus has resulted in significant panic across the globe. The Federal Government of the United States has, thus, initiated project Warp Speed in a bid to contain the fast-spreading viral infections.
Operation Warp Speed is the private and public partnership aimed at distributing 300 million of the COVID vaccine by the year 2021. The Warp Speed project will select a different set of vaccine candidates. It will also offer the resources required for developing, testing, and manufacturing a vaccine. The pharma industry, therefore, states that a COVID vaccine will be ready at least in a year due to the recent unveiling of “Warp Speed” which has little to do with conventional reasoning.
All 50 states of the U.S. have mandatory vaccine laws for rubella, measles, polio, for instance. But they also offer exceptions for some vaccine varieties for religious, medical, or philosophical reasons. Still, the nation has constitutional compulsory vaccination laws that protect the health of the public.
But with the dire effects of the COVID-19, the government is inclined to enforce the mandatory vaccination laws without regard to religion, philosophy, or medical reasons. Moreover, a group in the State Bar Association in New York is now calling for mandatory vaccination for all Americans. The group is making legal arguments to back their reasoning.
David Reischer, Esq., the Attorney & CEO of Legal Advice says the following about the push for a vaccine:
The push to find a vaccine for COVID is fraught with government overreach for those Americans that distrust the government and do not want to take the vaccine when offered. The idea of mandatory vaccination against COVID is setting up for a populist fight against the limits of government and its encroachment on individual liberty.
The Jacobson Ruling
In 1905 the Supreme Court addressed a similar issue of mandatory vaccinations. It was imposed by the government concerning smallpox in the case of “Jacobson v Massachusetts.” In this case, the court ruled that the legislature was permitted to impose a mandatory vaccine. This was because of the “police power” of the state-protected public health and safety. The court explained that such regulations are not a violation of the 14th Amendment right to liberty. Why? because it is a limitation by which every person is necessarily subjected to the “greater common good.”
This decision still prevails even today. At the same time, the occasional injurious results from vaccinations remain unrecognized. This is due to the impossibility of assessing whether a specific person can be safely vaccinated or not. Whether the courts extend the Jacobson ruling to a mandatory vaccine for COVID is highly probable. But, whether the population obediently complies still needs to be seen.
In Light Of The Pandemic
Pride, as well as profits, are at stake for many of these pharma companies. Once again, Emergent BioSolutions is working on setting itself apart from the rest of the fold in light of the pandemic. Its CEO, Robert Kramer, was quick to state that there were no guarantees as to how fast a vaccine could be developed. However, he notes that the collaboration that is ongoing with other pharma companies will help to speed up the process.
Emergent BioSolutions has an additional task order aimed at supporting the objectives of the “warp speed” project. It will happen under the initial agreement with BARDA. The said objective is to harness all capabilities, capacities, and expertise. The project will support the government’s bid to accelerate the development and manufacture of the COVID-19 vaccine. This new task is worth approximately 628 million dollars. In response to Emergent’s involvement in vaccine development, David Reischer is quick to point out that:
Big pharma involvement in the creation of a vaccine that is imposed as mandatory upon all citizens should be a concern for everybody. While not implying or saying that anything nefarious is afoot, it is objectively impossible for these mega entities with ties to special interests to disclose their various conflicts of interest fully.
On Solidifying Its Stand
A history of gaining monopoly, FDA issues, anthrax controversies and concerns, conflicts of interests, military human experimentation, legal issues, and misuse of funds. And still, Emergent BioSolutions is setting itself up for success during the COVID pandemic.
Its alliance with VaxArt and Novavax is set to minimize evidence of the company’s historic acts of profiteering and increase the new vaccine production opportunities. And without a doubt, Emergent BioSolutions will make millions of dollars during another great pandemic, the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Elton was first a general writer. But after battling a weight management problem, he became passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. Now he works out 5 times a week, lives off keto, and writes about health.