Some biotechnology companies are benefiting financially from the fight to test for antibodies against coronavirus, taking blood samples from infected people and then selling them at outrageous prices, according to the New York Times.
Documents, emails and price lists held by the New York Times show that several companies around the world are offering to sell blood samples of people with corona at high prices in laboratories and testing companies.
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One such company in California, which charges between $ 350 and $ 40,000 per millilitre (1 ml) of blood – less than a quarter of a teaspoon.
Another company has charged up to $ 50,000, and according to the NYT, the more antibodies there are in the sample, the higher the price.
Companies insist that they do not make a profit from this process. However, many doctors call this practice “immoral.”
Researchers trying to develop antibody tests need samples from people who have had the virus and whose immune system has learned to make antibodies to fight it. Competition for the samples caused shortages, the report said.
This is especially true in Britain, where researchers usually rely on the central public health system, rather than the commercial market, to have samples.
Benevolent companies advertise that they pay donors while British scientists rely on personal relationships to find volunteers.