April 17, 2020 News, Press Releases

Statement: Public-Private Partnership to Drive COVID-19 Research Overlooks Drug Prices

WASHINGTON, DC — In response to the new NIH-led public-private partnership to accelerate COVID-19 treatments and vaccines, David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs, issued the following statement:

“We are glad the federal government is directing billions of taxpayer dollars to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19. But since taxpayers are investing extraordinary amounts to lead the development of COVID-19 drugs, our investment must be accounted for when the time comes to set a price. The federal government will be the single largest investor and the largest purchaser of an upcoming COVID-19 vaccine or treatment. We can’t let drug corporations dictate prices when a taxpayer-funded product enters the market. As partners, taxpayers should have a say in setting the price and drug companies should commit to complete transparency.”


  • From March 20-27, U.S. taxpayers gave nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars to just three drug companies in one week for COVID-19 drug development. On Thursday, an additional $483 million was given to Moderna Inc. for development of their COVID-19 vaccine; NIH has alsoannounced that it is funding a clinical trial for Moderna’s vaccine candidate.
  • Since COVID-19 is deadly, the safest way to achieve herd immunity is through widespread vaccination. And based on the level of contagion, experts estimate that 50-70% of the population might need to be vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity. In the US alone, that means 163 to 229 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will need to be purchased.


Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.