Moderna CEO Defends $130 COVID Vaccine Price in Senate Hearing

Moderna’s chief executive on Wednesday defended the company’s plan to quadruple the price of its COVID-19 vaccine, telling US lawmakers that it will no longer have the economies of scale from government procurement if shooting moves to private pass market.

Moderna’s CEO, Stephane Bancel, was called to testify after the company announced plans to increase the price of the vaccine to as much as $130 per dose, which demanded lower drug prices.

Sanders asked Bancel on Wednesday to reconsider the price hikes, saying they could make them unaffordable for millions of Americans and were unjustified given the government’s research contributions and $1.7 billion in support to develop the vaccine . His comments echoed his January letter to Bancel.

Bancel said Moderna’s next COVID-19 syringes will be more expensive because they will be sold in single-dose vials or pre-filled syringes for the commercial market, compared to the 10-dose vials it has been selling to the government so far has.

The government plans in May to end the COVID public health emergency and hand over much of vaccine purchasing to the private sector.

CEO Stephane Bancel
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel testified on Wednesday.
AFP via Getty Images

Bancel also said the company anticipates it will likely make more cans than necessary to ensure it has enough for the private market and has factored wasted shots into the price.

“Beyond that, we expect demand to drop by 90%,” Bancel said. “As you can see, we are losing economies of scale.”

Senator Bernie Sanders on Wednesday.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has long called for lower drug prices.
Getty Images

Moderna in February forecast $5 billion in COVID vaccine sales this year, far short of the $18.4 billion windfall in 2022 as demand for the shots slumped.

Sanders has been railing against high US drug prices for years and supports Medicare-for-all. His chairmanship of the HELP committee has brought pharmaceutical companies further into his crosshairs. Moderna CEO Defends $130 COVID Vaccine Price in Senate Hearing


DUSTIN JONES is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. DUSTIN JONES joined USTimeToday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with DUSTIN JONES by emailing

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