On the same day the Greens launched candidates for the State Election, the party has called for the establishment of a public pharmaceutical company in Queensland after revelations that three different SARS vaccines had their funding cut at crucial stages of development - SARS is another type of coronavirus and could have accelerated the production of a vaccine for COVID-19.
Greens MP Michael Berkman said it is clear we can’t rely on profit hungry private pharmaceutical corporations to develop the life saving vaccines we need.
“The private pharmaceutical industry is the perfect symbol of the failure of Labor and the LNP’s program of privatisation because the industry will always put profits ahead of people’s lives.
“In the last four years alone three coronavirus vaccines were abandoned by private pharmaceutical corporations because they weren’t seen as profitable.
“When Labor privatised our only public pharmaceutical company, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, in the 1990s, Australia lost one of its best tools to fight dangerous viruses and bacteria. Before privatisation it developed a tetanus vaccine and a combined vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.
“Our Queensland public pharmaceutical company would keep jobs in Queensland, harnessing the enormous talents and ingenuity of Queenslanders to produce the vaccines and crucial antibiotics that private pharmaceutical corporations don’t see as profitable.
“It would save Queensland Health millions of dollars by producing cheap generic drugs and stopping price gouging by private pharmaceutical corporations who overcharge hospitals and consumers.”
A Queensland Public Pharmaceutical Company would:
a) Focus on crucial research and production of vaccines, antibiotics, drugs and other supplies that private pharmaceutical corporations deem unprofitable, including potential future coronavirus vaccines.
b) Work with universities and public medical research teams to produce new drugs, keeping the benefits, revenue and jobs in Queensland.
c) Produce cheap generic drugs as an alternative supply for Queensland Health, reducing the amount of public money that goes into the pockets of private pharmaceutical corporations.
Contact: Max Chandler-Mather (0488199015)