Bayer CEO Personifies Corporate Greed And Racism
Bayer CEO Marijn Dekkers recently said one of the most offensive things imaginable to the billion-plus people of India. The German drug company was charging $69,000 per year in India (where the annual per capita GDP is about $1,400) for Nexavar, a new drug that treats late-stage kidney and liver cancer. An Indian court allowed an Indian drug company to start marketing a generic drug for a huge discount. Arguing that India’s action amounted to theft, Dekkers said in an interview, “We did not develop this medicine for Indians, we developed it for Western patients who can afford it.”
American-style robber baron capitalism is becoming rampant globally. This Ancien Regime attitude that the wealth and privilege of a few has greater inherent value than the lives of the majority has pervaded Western capitalism. It is astoundingly inappropriate for a German CEO to tell a nation of a billion people that they don’t deserve cancer treatment, essentially because they are poor and brown. This is disgusting globalist corporate neocolonialism. It is degrading, dehumanizing and racist.
There are legitimate international patent rights issues at play here, yes. But there was a time when the life of a human being was worth more, regardless of who or where they were, than the profits of big corporations. I hope that Dekkers is haunted for the rest of his life by the ghost of Jonas Salk. Dr. Salk invented the Polio vaccine in 1955, which has saved millions and millions of lives since. The patent value of his discovery has been estimated at $7 billion. Salk dismissed the opportunity to become stupendously rich, preferring that the vaccine become as widely available as quickly as possible. Salk was a great man of science and humanity. Dekkers is a great monster of profit.
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