On Sunday, Reuters reported that Operation Warp Speed candidate Moderna received an additional $472 million in funding from BARDA to develop its potential COVID vaccine. Following the announcement, Moderna saw shares increase 11.3% in premarket trading on Monday. US taxpayers total funding for the experimental vaccine of Moderna is now $955 million.
“This is yet another massive giveaway to a drug corporation that’s never brought a product to market, yet has reaped big benefits for shareholders through speculation driven by federal funding,” said Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now. “Despite an abundance of evidence from an industry that has gouged patients and broken promises over and over again, the Trump Administration continues to hand over taxpayer money with no guarantee that we’ll get affordable vaccines in return. In the case of Moderna, which lacks any track record in developing successful vaccines, we have even more reason to be skeptical. Moderna shareholders continue to reap financial benefits while American taxpayers get no answers on transparency, accountability or affordability when it comes to our investments to expedite the development of COVID medicines. We deserve a safe and affordable vaccine — but to date, our President has done nothing to make sure this industry is working for us, rather than just profiteering off the pandemic.”
Background Memo: Will COVID-19 Vaccines & Medicines Serve Profits or People?