FLASHBACK: “Ten Questions to Ask if an Emergency Use Authorization is Announced”
Accountable Pharma calls for strong oversight into potential price gouging and profiteering, renegotiation of flawed Operation Warp Speed contracts
Washington, DC – Today, watchdog and patient advocacy group Accountable Pharma released the following statement on the announcement that Moderna will be seeking an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their COVID-19 vaccine.
“This is another important and exciting step toward getting safe and effective vaccines into the hands of the patients across the country whose tax dollars paid for the research, development, and investments in the production and distribution that made it possible,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Accountable Pharma.
“Moderna executives have already made fortunes dumping stocks inflated by taxpayer funding and purchase guarantees and it would be absolutely egregious for them to charge patients and taxpayers exorbitant prices to pad their bank accounts even further. We join with patients and advocates across the country in demanding that Moderna refrain from profiteering and price gouging on taxpayer-funded vaccines and we call on the incoming Biden Administration to do everything possible to renegotiate the Operation Warp Speed contracts that clearly failed to secure adequate taxpayer protections.”
- Insider Trading: In September, Accountable Pharma released a report revealing that top executives and directors at five top drug companies receiving billions of taxpayer dollars through Operation Warp Speed have made more than $145 million cashing out their stock options between the launch of Operation Warp Speed on May 15th and the end of August 2020. Moderna execs accounted for more than $115 million in net profit.
- Federal Funding: Moderna was named one of five vaccine finalists by Operation Warp Speed in early June. It has received $2.5 billion from BARDA for development of its COVID vaccine candidate.
- Trump Administration Ties: At the time of his appointment as chief advisor of Operation Warp Speed, Moncef Slaoui was a Moderna board member who held 155,000 shares in the company valued at $10M. Slaoui has also served on the board of Lonza which partnered with Moderna to provide manufacturing capacity.
- Influence Peddling: They report spending $50K on lobbying since 2019.
- Details On Pricing & Accessibility: Moderna’s contract with BARDA, obtained by KEI, is available here. Moderna’s CEO has claimed that they would be “very thoughtful” about pricing a COVID vaccine but declined at the time to elaborate. Since then, Moderna has confirmed it will charge as much as $37 per dose – the highest price point among COVID vaccine candidates to date. The NIH contributed significant research to Moderna’s vaccine candidate development and may have a stake in the intellectual property patent that could allow the government to assert rights like price controls.
- Washington Post: “A coronavirus vaccine rooted in a government partnership is fueling financial rewards for company executives: Moderna’s top leaders sold company stock as the share value skyrocketed.”
- Boston Business Journal: “Moderna confirms its Covid-19 vaccine could be industry’s most expensive.”
- CNBC: “Moderna’s second-quarter revenue jumps fivefold on coronavirus vaccine development.”
- CNN: “Moderna already got $400 million for a Covid vaccine that isn’t available.”
- Washington Post: “Moderna failed to disclose federal support in vaccine patents, researchers say.”