Citations for blog post
- In March 2020, the U.S. government agreed to pay Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, $456 million to support development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The $456 million taxpayer funding is in addition to $43 million the U.S. government gave J&J in 2017 to discover “innovative products to prevent or treat infections caused by emerging infectious diseases.” That funding specifically helped lay the foundation for the J&J COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
- The estimate of the R&D investment required for a vaccine was reached based on inflation-adjusted estimates in academic literature (IOM 2002: $700 million, Journal of Biologics 2001: $200-$500 million, JAMA 2020: $985 million), recent expert interviews on COVID-19 (vaccine experts Kelly Capio and Dr. Gregory Poland both estimate $1 billion), and expertise from international NGOs (MSF: $135-$350 million). We selected the highest estimate of R&D costs ($1 billion) for the purpose of this analysis.Subtracting taxpayer contributions ($500 million) from the joint investment of $1 billion by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and J&J, one arrives at a $500 million in investment by J&J. This is bolstered by the fact that Johnson & Johnson announced plans to “match taxpayers’ investment” at $456 million.