Ebola was first diagnosed 50 years ago. This is a disease killing around 50% of the contaminated people. It is spreading in West Africa in countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea or Liberia.
This disease is well known but medical laboratories from US, France or Germany always refused to do research about it because there was no money to be made. We interviewed Ms. Elsa Mayer, the Sales Director at the German pharmaceutical group Bayer and asked her why the research did not start before:
Actually, the research and tests about Ebola started a long time ago but the countries infected were all poor. Progress on Ebola vaccine was quick but we could not make any money at the time. We quickly found a cure but we could not sell it. Therefore, we kept the cure in our laboratory for decades with the hope the infected patients would get richer.
Their wish became true when American, German and Spanish doctors started to be infected. Elsa told us:
That is our chance, we have this cure that everybody needs. 5,000 US$ a dose; which corresponds to a 95% profit per dose. Thanks to Ebola, we became the most profitable company in the world. Since, my wage was doubled. I am really pleased this disease is spreading.
She continued saying that pharmaceutical groups have to be careful and not cure everyone at the same time because that could eradicate Ebola. This is definitely not what they want. Bayer’s marketing department is currently working on how to keep people feeling fear and hope at the same time.
We normally have a meeting to brainstorm the most effective ways to plant the seed of doubts and fears in the general public. Some of the most effective ideas have come from the Ebola roleplaying experience where one of the staff pretends to be an infected African man. It’s great for team building.
Author: Mr. Hamelsoft Carlos.