All that seems to matter to the pharmaceutical industry is that their profit margin continues to rise each and every year. The monopoly greatly affects our nation’s health because of a company’s ability to control certain immunizations from reaching the marketplace due to any number of reasons—without more competitors for the same kinds of vaccinations available the public relies heavily on those twelve companies that supply our nation with protection against diseases and ailments of all kinds (CBS, “Vaccine,” n.p.).
Pharmaceutical companies are constantly gouging the government, which many times fronts the bills for testing and development of newer, better, safer drugs for the population, by delaying the manufacturing, demanding longer test periods, and whatever possible else they can think of in order to gain more money that will (the companies claim) help speed the process by helping research and development. This is a costly game for everyone involved because not all research turns up the originally funded and hoped for outcome, and while the companies delay trying to grab more money out of the government and whoever else is helping fund the research, the public sits and waits impotently. With immunizations, money is still invested through government grants, loans, etc., so these companies want to prolong the fiscal flow for as long as possible. (Carnell, n.p.)
As of now, there are shortages of vital childhood vaccines, which increase the risk of our nation’s children catching certain illnesses many of our generation were and still are vaccinated against. These shortages have prompted the majority of states to change their immunization requirements of schools and other immunization-requiring organizations in order for children to enroll without the routine set of immunizations:
- DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis)
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Hepatitis B
- MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
- Pneumococcal disease
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