France Helping Big Pharma

Long before the word Coronavirus was even uttered in the typical household I was skeptical of the medical community. My skepticism has never been unilateral towards the many professions in that sector. I would enthusiastically go to the doctor if I broke my arm or had some form of terrible infection. Even now, as I have many doubts about this coronavirus outbreak, I still acknowledge that I could contract said virus and may need to seek medical care due to it.

But my skepticism derives from two places. The first is my experience from receiving medical care. I have been injured numerous times through my lifelong passion of sports and fitness and have been amazed at the lack of expertise it takes to fix an injury. Assuming that nothing is torn or broken the only thing a doctor will do, besides billing you or your insurance provider with an expensive bill, is write you a prescription for a generic pain-killer or give you a brace that you could have purchased yourself from CVS. Additionally, it was around the age of twenty that I observed that almost all medicine, whether sold over the counter or prescribed, was designed to address symptoms and not the underlying disease. Medical care tends to cost quite a bit and most of it is functionally useless. No, open-heart surgery is not included in this functionally useless category. But, most people don’t need that type of operation until they turn fifty. And before that time they will could have purchased a house with their insurance bills that they have been dutifully paying.

This leads to my second criticism: There is a huge profit motive in medicine. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad characteristic entirely. In the United States, where this trait is ubiquitous, the financial incentive allows us to have excellent and accessible medical care whenever we need it. And as with everything in capitalism, the financial incentive does encourage innovation in the form of better medicine, procedures, and surgical technology. Conversely, it also guarantees that certain innovators develop unnecessary products. These products are then marketed to you as if you were going to die without using them, when in fact, these items fall into the previous category of functionally useless.

This leads me back to the Coronavirus pandemic. When the hysteria began in earnest a few months back my initial reaction was that the market movers were greatly exaggerating the severity of this virus. Big Pharma wanted everyone terrified so that they could sell their newest snake oil to the masses. Lately, I’ve been more of the opinion that the threat of the virus is legitimate, but the medical community was nevertheless going to try to sell us some snake oil to garner a huge pay day.

While still believing that Big Pharma is likely to con the masses into purchasing a vaccine that is grossly overpriced, there is another possibility that I had not considered until I read about what has taken place in France. That is, there could be a cheap and accessible drug that could combat the coronavirus, but that drug’s supply would be suppressed because it did not offer Big Pharma large enough profit margins.

Enter hydrochloroquine. A drug that if you type it into Google you will be bombarded with articles on the stupidity of Trump and how ineffective and even dangerous taking this medicine is. And yet all of the countries that are effectively battling the coronavirus, notably those in Asia, have used the coupled procedures of mass-testing combined with a prescription of hydrochloroquine, if the virus is found in the early stages. Turns out these procedures were developed by the world’s foremost expert on communicable diseases, a French professor named Didier Raoult. His model works and is far more logistically sound than quarantining an entire country, even when 99% of the population is not infected.

And while all of the Western nations are guilty of buying into an ineffective procedure and ignoring (perhaps purposefully) a more efficient model of treatment, it does appear that France acted in a particularly sinister manner. Before this outbreak began France had large stores of chloroquine. Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company and the fifth largest in the world, was a leading producer of chloroquine and had its own stores of it. Then, when the crisis ensued all of the stores of chloroquine that were in the national pharmacy were “stolen” while Sanofi sold its entire store to Morocco. And the only manufacturer in France that can produce the drug for Sanofi is in receivership. Crucially, chloroquine appears to be six-weeks out from market.

While this is speculative, it appears that the oligarchs in France hoarded a cheap medicinal remedy to the coronavirus epidemic. By depleting the supply, they can do one of two things. First, they could offer the masses the aforementioned overpricd snake oil, most likely in the form of a useless vaccine. Or secondly, they could simply sell chloroquine back to the masses at a much higher price than it would normally cost now that they have artificially both decreased its supply while increasing its demand as the number of COVID-19 cases is still rising in France.

Oh, and I neglected to mention that the whole situation appears to have been orchestrated, or at least permitted, by Macron.

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