'Unacceptable corporate greed': Senator slams Moderna for proposed vaccine cost

Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a letter to Moderna's CEO urging the company to reconsider its price per dose in light of the federal government's role in developing the vaccine.

Moderna is considering setting the price of its COVID-19 vaccine between $110 and $130 once the federal government stops paying for it.

"Now is not the time for unacceptable corporate greed," Mr. Sanders wrote in his letter to Moderna.

Estimates show Moderna can produce the vaccine at $2.85 per dose, according to a Jan. 10 news release from the senator's office, which added that Moderna made more than $19 billion in profits off the COVID-19 vaccine which was developed in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, a government agency funded by taxpayers. The federal government also provided $1.7 billion in direct support and guaranteed the company billions more in sales, according to the release. 

"The huge increase in price that you have proposed will have a significantly negative impact on the budgets of Medicaid, Medicare and other government programs that will continue covering the vaccine without cost-sharing for patients," Mr. Sanders wrote in his letter to Moderna. "Your decision will cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Your outrageous price boost will also increase private health insurance premiums. Perhaps most significantly, the quadrupling of prices will make the vaccine unavailable for many millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans who will not be able to afford it. … In the midst of a deadly pandemic, restricting access to this much needed vaccine is unconscionable."


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