Moderna CEO overtly defends 400% COVID shot worth hike, downplays NIH’s function

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel testifies before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on March 22 in Washington, DC.

Enlarge / Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel testifies earlier than the Senate Well being, Schooling, Labor, and Pensions Committee within the Hart Senate Workplace Constructing on Capitol Hill on March 22 in Washington, DC. (credit score: Getty | Chip Somodevilla)

In Congressional testimony Wednesday, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel unabashedly defended the corporate’s plans to boost the US checklist worth of its COVID-19 vaccines by greater than 400 %—regardless of creating the vaccine in partnership with the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, receiving $1.7 billion in federal grant cash for scientific improvement, and making roughly $36 billion from worldwide gross sales.

Bancel appeared this morning earlier than the Senate’s Well being, Schooling, Labor, and Pensions committee, chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has lengthy railed on the pharmaceutical worth gouging within the US and pushed from coverage reforms. After thanking Bancel for agreeing to testify, Sanders did not pull any punches. He accused Moderna of “profiteering” and sharing within the “unprecedented degree of company greed” seen within the pharmaceutical business typically.

Sanders contrasted a latest survey discovering that 37 % of Individuals cannot afford their prescribed drugs to the billions of {dollars} in income reaped by drug firms. He famous a number of occasions that Bancel turned a billionaire in a single day amid the pandemic. Bancel is now estimated to be price over $four billion, Sanders added.

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