The legislators’ concerns that Pfizer’s price increase might lead other manufacturers of Covid shots to follow suit were verified by Mr. Bancel’s remarks. Moderna is now set to quadruple the price of its Covid Vaccine.
Senator Bernie Sanders slammed Moderna for “unacceptable corporate greed” after DailyMail.com disclosed the company’s plans to raise the price of its Covid shot.
Sen. Sanders requested Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel in a letter this week not to proceed with price increases on its Covid vaccine ranging from $26 to $130, claiming that the shot would become unaffordable for millions of Americans.
He went on to say that raising the price of the shot was especially disrespectful given that the US government spent more than $2 billion in taxpayer money to create the vaccine.
The Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed provided a multi-billion-dollar support package for the design and testing of Moderna’s Covid vaccine, which led to the company earning an estimated $39 billion in profit last year.
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Sen. Sanders said: ‘You propose to make the vaccine unaffordable for the residents of this country who made the production of the vaccine possible. That is not acceptable.’
Moderna’s CEO, Mr. Bancel, shared with DailyMail.com that the company plans to sell its Covid-19 vaccine at a price point of $110 to $130 per dose, similar to what Pfizer is charging, when it becomes available in the open market later this year.
This price range is significantly higher than what the government paid for booster shots last year which was $26 per dose and also higher than the price in the early US contracts for the vaccine.
Sen. Sanders wrote: ‘Now, in the midst of a continuing public health crisis and a growing federal deficit, is not the time for Moderna to be quadrupling the price of this vaccine. Now is not the time for unacceptable corporate greed.’
In the past year, Moderna’s revenue from sales of its Covid-19 vaccine was around $18.4 billion. However, despite the company’s decision to raise prices, its profits are predicted to decrease significantly in the current year due to a decrease in demand for the vaccine.
On Monday, the pharmaceutical company announced its projection of generating at least $5 billion in revenue from sales of its Covid-19 vaccine this year.
In an emailed statement, the biotech giant said: ‘While we are still in discussions with stakeholders on the price of our Covid-19 vaccines, Moderna is committed to pricing that reflects the value that Covid-19 vaccines bring to patients, healthcare systems, and society.’
Moderna noted that the Affordable Care Act will keep its Covid shots free for the majority of Americans.
During the outbreak, all Americans received free Covid vaccinations irrespective of insurance status.
Operation Warp Speed, which was implemented in the first few weeks of the pandemic to hasten the development of Covid vaccinations and treatments, would be to credit for this.
To speed up the development of a workable vaccine, the Trump government paid biotech firms like Moderna, Janssen, and Novavax more than $12 billion.
In the first year of the pandemic, Moderna, a biotech business with headquarters in Massachusetts, signed contracts with the federal government worth more than $2.4 billion.
The US government gave Moderna’s Covid vaccination a $1.74 billion contract in July 2022 to purchase more than 65 million additional doses, bringing the total number of vaccinations purchased to more than 560 million.
In the absence of the federal government purchasing extra doses at a fair price, insurance companies and private buyers will soon be left to negotiate the price of vaccines after those run out.
All Americans, regardless of whether they have health insurance, are currently eligible for free injections that are funded by the government. Additionally, while Americans with insurance are unlikely to notice a difference when getting their immunizations, those without insurance will pay a large price.
Americans will not actually have to pay the price increase out of pocket because insurance premiums will cover it, but overall rates will still increase as a result.
A recent review of 2023 premium filings by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that some insurers anticipate that the commercialization of vaccines will result in an increase in premium costs across the board. And such expenses might keep driving up premiums for years to come.
The legislators’ concerns that Pfizer’s price increase might lead other manufacturers of Covid shots to follow suit were verified by Mr. Bancel’s remarks.
In a critical letter to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla last month, Democrats Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sen-elect Representative Peter Welch of Vermont charged the pharmaceutical company with “unseemly profiteering” and “pure and deadly greed” and encouraged him to rethink his strategy.
The other week, eligibility was broadened from over-12s to over-5s, with American health officials stating that they, too, should receive vaccinations. However, according to the Moderna CEO, most people under 60 don’t need a booster.
Pfizer and its partner business BioNTech did not accept federal funding to support the research and development of a covid vaccine, in contrast to Moderna. That is not to imply, however, that the US government did not support Pfizer.