(Axios) Second-quarter results are still pouring in, but so far, a vast majority of health care companies are reporting profits that many people assumed would not have been possible as the pandemic continued. Drug sales fell across many pharma companies but cutting administrative and research costs kept earnings at industry highs.
WHAT’S HAPPENING: In the Build Back Better bill, Democrats are actually proposing limiting insulin prices to $35 a month but Republicans can’t have any of that. PhRMA spent pharma’s money well and bought some politicians while people who need insulin are suffering.
LEAD IN: Pharma companies are a business and have the right to make money but at what cost and how much is enough? The world’s makers of Covid-19 vaccines—saw over $10 billion in new wealth, with the Moderna’s CEO alone adding over $800 million to his fortune. Is this acceptable?
SUMMARY: The U.S. government has provided Moderna with nearly $10 billion in taxpayer money for research and development and the purchase of 500 million doses of this mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. This includes almost the entire cost of clinical development. Additionally, Moderna used patents and non-exclusive rights that the U.S. government made available to them to make this COVID-19 vaccine. But Moderna wants all the profits for themselves.
SUMMARY: Large-cap pharma companies are trading higher in the morning hours after White House unveiled a framework for a deal on President Biden’s social spending package on Thursday leaving out a key provision that allowed Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. In 2019, Medicare Part D covered more than 3,500 prescription drug products, with total spending of $183 billion, not accounting for rebates. The plan to allow the government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare is dead due to big pharma buying politicians.
SUMMARY: (Financial Times) BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna will dominate the Covid-19 vaccine market next year, generating a massive $93.2bn in combined sales and legislation allowing the government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare is all but dead.
SUMMARY: (Times) The financial windfall at Moderna, the biotech company behind one of the three federally cleared Covid-19 vaccines, has propelled three new names onto Forbes magazine’s list of the 400 wealthiest people in the United States. However, it’s the NIH’s vaccine. It is not merely Moderna’s vaccine. Federal scientists helped invent it, and taxpayers are funding its development.
SUMMARY: Via Axios – The antiviral pill that showed promising results against severe COVID-19 was initially developed at Emory University with $35 million of taxpayer grants. And while it costs $17.74 to produce, according to a report issued last week by drug pricing experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and King’s College Hospital in London. Merck charges the U.S. government $712 for the same amount of medicine or 40 times the price.