July 29, 2020 Press Releases

?Moderna’s Money Grab?

WASHINGTON, DC — In light of the news that Moderna plans to price its COVID-19 contender at $50 to $60 per course of treatment, Ben Wakana, the executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs, issued the following statement:

“It’s brazen and disgraceful that Moderna plans to take advantage of a tragedy. Moderna priced its vaccine to reap huge profits on a drug Americans helped develop and desperately need.

“The last few weeks reveal a pattern of drug corporations outpricing one another in a race to maximize profits off a pandemic. It’s disturbing that Big Pharma continues to go about its business as usual while Americans make enormous sacrifices.

“Patients need relief. Congress must act to ensure a fair price for U.S. patients and taxpayers on any vaccine for the novel coronavirus.”


  • On Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that Moderna will charge $50 to $60 for a course (two doses) of its upcoming COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Moderna’s price compares to:
    • AstraZeneca: “Our objective is to bring the vaccine to everybody, (and) equally to do so on a not-for-profit basis so we shall be providing the vaccine at cost price,” said Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca. “At cost price, that will be about 2.5 euros ($2.8) per unit.” [Barron’s]
    • Johnson & Johnson: “I expect a price of $10 or €10 per vaccine,” said Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer of Johnson & Johnson. [Scrip]
    • Pfizer: “The U.S. government is effectively paying an implied price of $19.50 per dose for the vaccine under the agreement, although the companies said Americans would receive the shots free.” [The Washington Post]
  • During a July 21 Congressional hearing, Moderna admitted plans to profit off the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Moderna has taken nearly $1 billion in government funding for vaccine development since January.
    • The vaccine was developed in collaboration with the NIH. [Moderna]
    • The most recent contract supports Phase 3 clinical trials, which are being conducted with the NIH. [Reuters]
    • NIH scientists have filed patents for the technology behind the vaccine. [Axios]
  • Executives cashed out.
    • “Moderna insiders have sold about $248 million of shares since that January announcement, most of it after the company was selected in April to receive federal funding to support its vaccine efforts.” [The New York Times]
  • 88 percent of U.S. adults said they are concerned that “the pharmaceutical industry will take advantage of the current COVID-19 pandemic to increase drug prices.” [Gallup/West Health]


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