Aren’t Vaccines Just Moneymakers for Pharmaceutical Companies?
A popular myth is that vaccines are simply a way for pharmaceutical companies to make money. That is false. Vaccines are not profit-makers for pharmaceutical companies. In fact, these companies make their profits by selling drugs that treat diseases. For example, sales of the Sovaldi drug for Hepatitis C—just one treatment by one pharmaceutical company for one disease sold almost entirely in the United States— exceeded more than $10 billion in one year.
In comparison, the global total sales of all vaccines—for adults and children by all pharmaceutical companies that produce vaccines—was just $24 billion in one year. The $24 billion vaccine market seems large but represents only 2% to 3% of a trillion-dollar, worldwide pharmaceutical industry.
Another point of comparison is the global alternative medicine market. That market, which includes homeopathic remedies and various supplements, powders, and teas, is a $34 billion industry, even though only one-third of the treatments have been tested.
If pharmaceutical companies merely wanted to increase their profit margins, they would stop manufacturing vaccines and focus only on developing and selling drugs and alternative medicines.