“Drug corporations are masterful at marketing. They recognize the current race for a COVID vaccine as a fantastic opportunity for free PR to redeem some of their tarnished brands. We expect in today’s subcommittee hearing that officials from AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna and Pfizer will show up to position their companies as good-faith philanthropists wanting to save the day with a COVID vaccine. But the public knows there’s only one thing that motivates Big Pharma: more profits.”
Ahead of tomorrow’s House E&C Oversight subcommittee hearing Lower Drug Prices Now produced this memo with background on Operation Warp Speed, and the five drug corporations leading testifying at tomorrow’s hearing.
“The IG’s decision is extremely disappointing. Mr. Slaoui’s position is core to the government’s vaccine development efforts, and he should be just as accountable to the American people as any other government official. This administration has demonstrated a clear disregard for ethics and a willingness to funnel billions of taxpayer dollars to their Pharma corporate cronies without transparency or accountability.”
“Senate Democrats are absolutely right: Americans need affordable COVID vaccines and treatments. And we’re glad that they’re pushing to use the government’s purchasing power to negotiate a ‘fair price’ for patients. But as long as drug corporations retain monopoly power to set and keep prices high, taxpayers will continue to foot the bill behind the scenes even if patients aren’t paying at the point of service.”
“Operation Warp Speed continues gambling away billions in taxpayer dollars. The Trump Administration, which is filled with former Pharma execs and lobbyists, just handed over another $1.6 billion to Novavax, a drug corporation that’s never successfully brought a product to market.”
“This news serves as a reminder that as the White House continues to hand over billions in taxpayer dollars for a coronavirus vaccine without a guarantee of affordability, Big Pharma continues to focus on its profits not patients,” said “American taxpayers are co-owners of this potential vaccine, but it’s only Moderna that’s reaping the profits — we foot the bill while they line their pockets.”
“It’s become clear that the only way we’re going to get COVID under control is through a safe, affordable and accessible vaccine. Yet, despite massive taxpayer investments into the development of remdesivir, and guarantees by the company that it will make the drug affordable, Gilead has decided to once again gouge patients.”