Quantcast
Connect with us

‘Taking taxpayers for a ride’: Moderna to charge $32-$37/dose for COVID-19 vaccine developed entirely with public funds

Published

on

Vaccine Shot AFP/File / Johannes EISELE

“It ought to be the people’s vaccine, not a new taxpayer burden.”

Consumer advocates warned Wednesday that pharmaceutical giant Moderna is “taking taxpayers for a ride” after the company announced plans to charge between $32 and $37 per dose for a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed entirely with funds from the U.S. federal government.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Taxpayers are paying for 100% of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine development. All of it,” Peter Maybarduk, director of the Access to Medicines Program at Public Citizen, said in a statement. “Yet taxpayers may wind up paying tens of billions more to Moderna to buy our vaccine back, if it proves safe and effective.”

“Taxpayers are paying for 100% of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine development. All of it. Yet taxpayers may wind up paying tens of billions more to Moderna to buy our vaccine back.”
—Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen

“The so-called Moderna vaccine belongs in significant part to the people of the U.S,” said Maybarduk. “We paid for it. Federal scientists led the way. It ought to be the people’s vaccine, not a new taxpayer burden.”

The experimental vaccine is currently undergoing a Phase 3 clinical trial that is expected to enroll around 30,000 adult volunteers who do not have Covid-19, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Trial results are expected as early as October.

“Results from early-stage clinical testing indicate the investigational mRNA-1273 vaccine is safe and immunogenic, supporting the initiation of a Phase 3 clinical trial,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a statement last week.

ADVERTISEMENT

Under pressure from advocacy groups to publicly disclose how its potential vaccine is being financed, Moderna told Axios Wednesday that U.S. taxpayers are providing “100% funding of the program.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Since April, the Massachusetts-based pharmaceutical company has received nearly a billion dollars in taxpayer grants to develop a vaccine as part of the Trump administration’s so-called Operation Warp Speed.

“The company received $483 million from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in April to support its vaccine development,” CNBC reported. “Last month, it announced it received an additional $472 million from the U.S. government.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, wrote in a blog post Wednesday that “this funding paid for the research and testing” and “it also meant that the government took all the risk.”

“If Moderna’s vaccine turns out to be ineffective,” wrote Baker, “the government will be out the money, not Moderna.”

Despite the fact that Moderna’s price tag for its coronavirus vaccine is the highest yet announced by any corporation involved with Operation Warp Speed, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel on Wednesday characterized the cost as a discount during a conference call announcing the company’s massive second-quarter revenue increase.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Public Citizen noted the absurdity of charging the public anything at all for a vaccine developed entirely with taxpayer funding.

“They want us to buy back a vaccine developed with our tax dollars,” the group tweeted.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Not gonna work!’: A Republican tried to promote masks — and got angrily booed by Trump voters

Published

on

Republican Lt. Gov. Jon Husted of Ohio learned quickly on Monday that President Donald Trump’s voters aren’t ready for even mildly encouraging statements about wearing masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.

He appeared ahead of the president at a Trump rally in Ohio, and he tried to promote a series of Trump-branded masks. To the attendees’ credit, his speech was pretty condescending. Husted seemed to think he could convince them to wear face masks — which have become demonized on the right — just because they were branded with Trump logos.

But Husted was at least trying to encourage healthy behavior among his voters, which Trump has repeatedly declined to do. Experts agree masks are one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of the respiratory virus, and the fact that this advice has become anathema to large swaths of the country — primarily supporters of the president — is extremely dangerous on its own terms and disturbing for what it says about our politics.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘It affects elderly people … that’s it’: Trump falsely downplays coronavirus to Ohio supporters

Published

on

At a rally in Ohio on Monday, President Donald Trump falsely claimed that coronavirus only affects the elderly, and that young people don't die from the illness.

Trump: "We now know the disease... it affects elderly people with heart problems and other problems. That's what it really effects. That's it."

— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) September 22, 2020

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Ron DeSantis pushes bill legally protecting drivers who run over members of ‘a mob’

Published

on

On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed a bill that would aggressively crack down on the right to protest — and protect drivers from liability if they run over members of "a mob" in the course of trying to escape.

Today I announced bold legislation that creates new criminal offenses and increases penalties for those who target law enforcement and participate in violent or disorderly assemblies. We will always stand with our men and women in uniform who keep our communities safe. pic.twitter.com/ITl5GmmrZJ

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE