“The Trump administration has abandoned its responsibility to the American people, opting once again to funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to a corporation that has refused to comply with basic disclosure requirements and has no proven track record. At a time when the public is desperate for a safe and successful vaccine, this administration continues to undermine the American people’s trust, handing over more of our tax dollars to corporations focused on inflating profits, not public health.”
Insider NJ – 8/12/20
“The time for Congress to take on drug corporations’ monopoly price-gouging is long overdue,” said Margarida Jorge, Campaign Director for Lower Drug Prices Now. “As long as Congress keeps handing taxpayer funding for new COVID medicines and treatments to drug corporations with no strings attached, drug corporations will do what they always do: price gouge patients to inflate their profits just as they have in every other epidemic and public health crisis. Lawmakers must stand up to big Pharma business-as-usual and pass legislation to hold them accountable so that medicine is affordable for all.”
This week U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced legislation to ensure that any taxpayer-funded vaccine or treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19) proven to be safe and effective will be accessible, affordable, and available to all individuals.
Bloomberg – 8/6/20
Meanwhile, two consumer groups yesterday filed complaints with a federal government watchdog questioning the role of the White House’s Covid-19 vaccine czar. Public Citizen and Lower Drug Prices Now filed two complaints with the HHS Office of the Inspector General asking about Moncef Slaoui’s role guiding vaccine development and whether he may be subject to the same conflict of interest requirements as government employees. Slaoui was the head of GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccines department and maintains millions of dollars in company stock.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen and Lower Drug Prices Now today filed two additional ethics complaints [here and here] regarding COVID-19 vaccine czar Dr. Moncef Slaoui, following an initial complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in May that resulted in no action.
“Moderna just admitted that its covid vaccine is 100% taxpayer-funded, only a week after comfortably stating before Congress that it plans to make a profit on a vaccine the American people have already paid nearly a billion dollars to develop. Moderna executives and insiders have already made $200 million off of the stock gains resulting from announcements of vaccine trials and government awards.”
Salon – 8/5
“These Executive Orders are not about policy, they’re about politics,” Margarida Jorge, the campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now, told the Post. “The only reason for President Trump’s rekindled interest in lowering drug prices is his dwindling poll numbers, and realization that our country’s senior citizens are abandoning him thanks to his bungled handling of the coronavirus crisis.”