COVID-19: Watchdog Group Files Freedom of Information Requests Following New Warning Signs on Vaccine Pricing
$2,251,000,000 in federal investments in COVID-19 vaccine development so far; No known assurances that they will be affordable, accessible
Washington, DC – Today, following new reporting that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has again refused to confirm whether the Trump Administration secured any assurances regarding vaccine pricing from drug companies receiving the over $2 billion in federal vaccine development investments, Patients Over Pharma filed Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking the details of any vaccine development-related contracts between drug companies and HHS, including the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).
According to the new reporting, “a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson told Karma that company contracts can only be obtained from the government through Freedom of Information Act requests and sensitive business information will be redacted. If drugs developed in Operation Warp Speed are commercialized, then the government will seek ‘consideration for pricing based on support from the U.S. government in the development of the product,’ the spokesperson said.”
“When billions of taxpayer dollars are handed to drug companies we should expect our government to get real assurances that any vaccines developed will be affordable and that the drug companies won’t just use this as another opportunity for price gouging and profiteering,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Patients Over Pharma. “Everyone wants a successful vaccine to be developed that is affordable and accessible to every American, and patients and taxpayers deserve to know if Sec. Azar secured the best deal possible with our billions of federal dollars or simply rolled over and plans to rely on the good graces of his former Big Pharma colleagues.”
Patients Over Pharma has been raising the alarm about the egregious lack of transparency and accountability surrounding the Trump Administration’s ‘Operation Warp Speed’ vaccine and treatment development process and the serious conflicts of interest facing its leadership.
Federal investments in COVID-19 vaccine development so far*
- AstraZeneca: $1.2 billion
- Johnson and Johnson: $500 million
- Merck: $38 million
- Moderna: $483 million
- Sanofi: $30 million
*Through BARDA and ASPR