Pfizer and Moderna Raise Prices on Vaccines After Years of Taxpayer Investments Fueling Revenue for the Brand Name Drug Companies

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) released a statement Thursday in response to brand name drug makers officially setting the list price of their COVID vaccines between $120 and $130 as payment shifts from the federal government to the commercial market.

“After months of promising egregious COVID-19 vaccine price hikes to Wall Street, Big Pharma has made them official,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson. “Big Pharma’s decision to impose massive price hikes on COVID-19 vaccines, after years of taxpayer investment in these products fueling revenue for their brand name manufacturers, highlights drug companies’ control over the prices of their products and penchant for price-gouging.”

Earlier this year, lawmakers on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) slammed Moderna for their proposed vaccine price increase, during a hearing with CEO Stéphane Bancel. During the hearing, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle noted taxpayers invested billions of dollars in Moderna’s vaccine and that the drug company’s price increase would come amid record profits and a crisis of prescription drug affordability.

Additionally, following announcements by Moderna and Pfizer of proposed price increases, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra penned a letter to brand name drug makers, urging them to price COVID-19 vaccines entering the commercial market this year at “a reasonable rate.”

Moderna’s price increase represents a 500 percent price increase over its previous price point and Pfizer has quadrupled the price of its vaccine to a price that represents a “10,000 percent markup over what experts have estimated it costs the vaccine makers to produce the shots.” Last August, Eli Lilly hiked the price of its monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 ahead of a transition to the commercial market.

The price hikes are especially egregious given the U.S. Government funded research that led to some of the underlying technology behind Moderna’s vaccine. Taxpayers later provided an almost $10 billion investment to help develop and purchase doses of Moderna’s vaccine which allowed the company to rake in massive profits.

In just one round of acquisitions last June, the U.S. Government signed a deal worth $3.2 billion with Pfizer to acquire doses of their vaccine at taxpayer expense, which boosted vaccine sales for the year to sky-high totals for the Big Pharma giant.

Read more from the Senate HELP Committee hearing on Moderna’s vaccine price hike HERE.

Learn more about bipartisan, market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable HERE.


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