It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Just last week, the drug giant Moderna was scrambling to explain away concerns about its plans to quadruple the price for its Covid-19 vaccine, from $26 per dose to $110–130 per dose. “I would think,” claimed Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel, “this type of pricing is consistent with the value.”
It costs Moderna as little as $2.85 to produce a dose of the vaccine. So we’re talking about a price that would be roughly $127 above the production cost for each shot that goes into someone’s arm. Even by the standard measures of pharmaceutical-company excess, this is, as Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.) suggest, an example of “unseemly profiteering.”
Does Moderna need the money? No. Over the past two years, the company has made more than $18 billion in profits from its vaccine. The company is literally awash in money—so much so that its CEO is now worth more than $6 billion, up from $4.3 billion in 2021. “This is what corporate greed looks like,” says former secretary of labor Robert Reich.
But shouldn’t Moderna be able to profit from a vaccine it created? Actually, as the office of Senator Bernie Sanders notes, the Moderna vaccine was “developed in partnership with scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a U.S. government agency that is funded by U.S. taxpayers. The federal government directly provided $1.7 billion to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine research and development, and guaranteed the company billions more in sales.”