Statement from Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now, on news that U.S. will pay $2 billion for Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine doses:
“Anyone that believes these drug corporations aren’t profiting from this pandemic isn’t paying attention. Research shows Pfizer is among corporations profiteering from the pandemic. It’s ridiculous for HHS officials to claim that this vaccine will be available at ‘no cost’ while simultaneously handing over $2 billion in our taxpayer dollars to Pfizer, and doing nothing to prevent them from raising prices whenever they want.
The fact is that Americans have already paid the cost of a vaccine for COVID. Well over $12 billion has been handed over to drug corporations with no strings attached.
Every time a drug company part of Operation Warp Speed shares preliminary updates on a vaccine trial, their stock value skyrockets making billions for shareholders, investors and well connected insiders. Pfizer and BioNTech are playing the same game. Since announcing their initial set of clinical trials in June, both companies have watched their share prices increase by the millions before even producing a final product for the American people.
There’s no way around it: Big Pharma companies will continue to game the system, use taxpayer money to fuel speculation and inflate stock prices and increase their profits by using their monopoly control over prices to price gouge patients. We know we can’t trust prescription drug corporations to put patients over their own profits. The only way to ensure that the vaccines and treatments developed with our taxpayer money will be affordable is for Congress to pass safeguards that block drug corporations’ monopoly control over prices and stop Pharma companies from overcharging us.”