It is likely that vaccines for the frightening coronavirus vaccine will be in trials by spring.

Sounds almost like magic, doesn't it?

But this miracle will be largely because of the efforts of a much-maligned industry.

The Wall Street Journal lays it out in a brief editorial this morning. 

As the editorial observes, “evil U.S. drug makers" are on the front lines in responding to this global health crisis:

Several U.S. drug makers including Johnson & JohnsonModerna Therapeutics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals are already working with the National Institutes of Health on vaccines.

It took scientists 20 months to develop a SARS vaccine to test on humans, but the NIH hopes to have a vaccine ready for human trials by April. While tens of thousands more may get sick in the meantime, U.S. drug makers are donating antiviral medicines that may fight the virus.

AbbVie and J&J are shipping HIV treatments to China while Gilead is studying whether an experimental antiviral drug that has worked on other coronaviruses in animal trials could help. Merck is also reviewing research to see if any of its drug compounds can be repurposed.

All of this is worth pointing out as politicians on both sides of the aisle denounce drug makers as parasites on society. While hard to estimate, the public health dividends from drug makers’ research and development often exceed their commercial profits.

Read the editorial.