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Reply #133: What really bothers me... [View All]

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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-17-09 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #124
133. What really bothers me...
is the framing of the whole vaccine debate as 'pro-pharma' or 'anti-pharma'.

I don't want vaccines to be available because I am 'pro-pharma' or want them to make a profit. I just want vaccines and other medications to be available to protect the health of the many vulnerable people who are incapable of just 'relying on natural defenses'. If this could be done with as little involvement of any sort of big business as possible - all the better! But it should be done in whatever way is possible. Healthcare for vulnerable people is more important than either helping pharma companies to make a profit, or preventing them from making a profit.

It is very like the way that opponents of welfare benefits, or of public services provision, reframe the debate in terms of the supporters of such provisions as 'pro-big-government' and the projects that they support as 'spending projects'. Few people want 'big government' for its own sake, and even fewer want 'spending' for its own sake. They want the universal provision of public services to help all the people, not just the rich; and welfare benefits to prevent or alleviate poverty. But once such issues get framed as being 'pro-pharma' or 'pro-big-government' or 'pro-spending', it results in losing sight of people's real needs and diverting attention to financial concerns of 'who profits'. 'Who profits' is an important *secondary* concern; it is important to ensure that pharma, and insurance companies, and other businesses, and government officials, do not profit at the expense of the public, so that as much as possible goes to those who really need the medical procedures or other public services. But talking about vaccine support as 'pro-pharma' basically implies: "Vaccines must be no good *because* bad guys can profit from them" or even "It is better than you should drop dead than undergo a medical procedure that might benefit bad guys".

Financial concerns should not be the top issue in the vaccine debate - in either direction.
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