Profiting from a pandemic - who gains from a public crisis?


  • Heather Mason
  • Univadis Medical News
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In an article published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, the authors advocate for a culture of profit for purpose, condemning the current practices of profit at any cost shown by some corporations that seek to use the COVID-19 pandemic in their favour.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a great strain on many people but has disproportionately affected those living precarious lives, and weakened health systems around the world. This has led some companies to exploit the current crisis, in an attempt to bolster their attributes as good corporations and gain a foothold into securing policy responses.

Although this behaviour is not unprecedented, prioritising the interests of corporations over the needs of the public creates further crises and deepens social injustices, the authors say. Moreover, just because some corporations have brought forth initiatives such as the provision of personal protective equipment and clean drinking water, these actions do not exempt them from the role they play in the detriment of public health.

Health professionals have a crucial part to play in questioning who will ultimately benefit from corporate contributions, advocating for sustainable solutions that address the root causes of ill health and inequity and help build resilient societies, the article concludes.