Statement from Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now, on news that Novavax executives pocketing $46M while COVID-19 vaccine trials are still underway:
Novavax’s executives are just the latest Big Pharma players to follow the same pandemic profiteering playbook: drive market speculation with PR announcements, watch stock prices skyrocket, then pocket hundreds of millions of dollars when they think no one’s looking.
Last summer, we watched executives from competing drug corporations do the same thing, leveraging taxpayer investment in a vaccine to inflate stock shares and make insiders huge profits even before a vaccine was approved. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sold $5.6 million worth of stocks following the corporation’s announcement of positive vaccine data. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel sold $40 million worth of Moderna stocks since last January, and its CMO Tal Zaks has been selling stock like clockwork, cashing in about $1 million every week. Vaxart’s largest shareholder sold more than $200 million in shares at an inflated price after the corporation announced its involvement with Operation Warp Speed in June. The list goes on.
The incoming Biden administration must work with Congressional leaders to rein in the pharmaceutical industry’s rampant profiteering and prioritize the health and safety of the American people over profits.