Nearly 500 Percent Price Increase on Vaccine Developed with Taxpayer Investment Highlights Urgency to Hold Big Pharma Accountable

Washington, D.C. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) released a statement Thursday in response to reports that brand name drug maker Moderna plans to continue moving ahead with a plan to charge between $110 and $130 for the company’s COVID-19 vaccine as payment shifts from the U.S. Government to the commercial market. The company confirmed it intends to move forward during its first quarter earnings call, despite Congressional scrutiny and public outrage over the substantial price increase on a product developed with investment from U.S. taxpayers. The highest price Moderna charged the U.S. government was $26.36 per dose.

“Moderna brazenly ignoring widespread outrage by moving ahead with a nearly 500 percent price hike on their vaccine underscores that Big Pharma companies alone set and raise prices on their products to boost profits, regardless of the impact on patients or the health care system,” said CSRxP executive director Lauren Aronson. “Moderna is effectively daring lawmakers to hold them accountable after Members of Congress, from both sides of the aisle, condemned the planned price hike during a U.S. Senate hearing in March.”

“Moderna’s egregious price hike on a vaccine developed with billions of dollars of investment from taxpayers highlights the need for policymakers to remain focused on holding Big Pharma accountable to lower prescription drug prices,” Aronson continued. “Big Pharma can always be counted on to put profits over people.”

The decision from Moderna comes after lawmakers on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) slammed the Big Pharma company, during a hearing earlier this year with CEO Stéphane Bancel. During the hearing, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle hit Moderna for the egregious price increase, noting that taxpayers have already invested billions of dollars in Moderna’s vaccine and that Moderna’s price increase would come amid record profits for the company and a crisis of prescription drug affordability across the country.

Moderna is not the only Big Pharma giant looking to squeeze additional profits out of COVID-19 products through price increases. Last October, Big Pharma giant Pfizer also announced plans to “as much as quadruple” the price of the company’s COVID-19 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.”

And last August, Eli Lilly hiked the price of its monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 ahead of a transition to the commercial market.

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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