Company Features Prominently in New Majority Staff Report on “Pharma Pandemic Profiteers”
WASHINGTON, March 15 – The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), will hold a hearing next Wednesday, March 22 at 10 a.m. ET entitled, “Taxpayers Paid Billions For It: So Why Would Moderna Consider Quadrupling the Price of the COVID Vaccine?” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel – who became a billionaire during the pandemic after U.S. taxpayers gave his company billions of dollars to research, develop, and distribute its COVID-19 vaccine – has agreed to appear, and a panel of experts will also give testimony.
Following the invitation for Bancel to testify and urging by Sanders for Moderna to refrain from more than quadrupling the price of its COVID-19 vaccine – to as much as $130 while it costs just $2.85 to manufacture – Moderna announced a new “patient assistance program” to provide free vaccines to uninsured Americans. The committee majority also recently released a staff report on the rapid growth of pharmaceutical CEO compensation packages during the pandemic. Among the findings is that 50 pharmaceutical executives in 10 companies made $1.9 billion in 2021 and could receive $2.8 billion in golden parachutes, 10 pharmaceutical CEOs could receive $1.6 billion in golden parachutes, and 10 pharmaceutical companies made $102 billion in profits in 2021 – a 137 percent increase from 2020.
Bancel will be joined by the following expert witnesses: Christopher J. Morten, Ph.D, J.D., Associate Clinical Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; Ameet Sarpatwari, Ph.D., J.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; and Craig Garthwaite, Ph.D., M.P.P., Herman Smith Research Professor in Hospital and Health Services Management, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.
What: Hearing of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to consider “Taxpayers Paid Billions For It: So Why Would Moderna Consider Quadrupling the Price of the COVID Vaccine?”
When: 10:00 a.m. ET, Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Where: Room 216, Hart Senate Office Building. The hearing will also be livestreamed on the HELP Committee’s website and Sanders’ social media pages.