In a court filing last month, Department of Justice lawyers offered to “relieve” Moderna of any liability it faces from a lawsuit that accuses the drug company of failing to pay licensing fees for technology it used to develop its vaccine during “Operation Warp Speed.” Moderna has argued that the federal government should be on the hook for any legal settlement because of a stipulation in its contract that protects the company from patent litigation. The government had stayed silent on the matter until last month, when Justice Department lawyers said that any liability that Moderna faces should “transfer” to the United States government, citing a World War I-era law that protects federal contractors from patent disputes.
While the judge handling the case recently denied the request, Moderna and the federal government could appeal the decision and put taxpayers on the hook for any legal payout. Genevant, one of the companies that sued Moderna, has already accused the drug maker of “trying to shift responsibility for its patent infringement to the U.S. taxpayer.”
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.
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