In France today, many people are wondering about what is known as the Sanofi “fiasco.” This large pharmaceutical group (7th biggest in the world) and a leader in vaccine production, has not been able to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, has initiated a plan to layoff 1,000 people, including 400 researchers, and… is bragging about the distribution of dividends to its shareholders. What is wrong with this picture?
There have been many protests since the announcement of Sanofi’s layoffs plan, especially since the company’s profits are flourishing: 12.3 billion euros ($14.8 billion) in 2020, an increase of… 338.4% in one year—the year of the pandemic! French hospital staff receive very low pay and the government had to increase their salaries a little in the wake of the pandemic. But it did not pay out even half of what Sanofi made in profits!
One doesn’t have to dig deep to understand the failure of this company. It distributes almost all its dividends to its shareholders, and does not invest in research, quite the opposite, since it is laying off hundreds of researchers, whose number has been cut in half over the last ten years. This company, like many others, has benefited from significant subsidies and tax reductions from the government, financed of course by all taxpayers.
Under these conditions, it makes totally good sense to make research and the production of vaccines the collective property of humanity and to remove the organization of this work from the clutches of these parasites!