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.
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.”
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.
https://nypost.com/2023/03/22/moderna-ceo-defends-130-covid-vaccine-price-in-senate-hearing/ Moderna CEO Defends $130 COVID Vaccine Price in Senate Hearing