Moderna COVID vaccines expected to cost $130
Moderna CEO Stephen Bancel is scheduled to appear before Congress on Wednesday regarding the cost of its COVID shots
Moderna is expected to charge about $130 for a single dose of its COVID-19 vaccine once the U.S. government stops buying the shots, according to Reuters.
"There are different customers negotiating different prices right now, which is why it's a little bit complicated," president Stephen Hoge told Reuters on Monday during an interview.
Hoge made his comments two days before company CEO Stephen Bancel is scheduled to appear before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee regarding Moderna's pricing plans for its mRNA vaccine.
Bancel is expected to be questioned during the Wednesday hearing entitled, "Taxpayers Paid Billions For It: So Why Would Moderna Consider Quadrupling the Price of the COVID Vaccine?"
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According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the pandemic public health emergency is set to end in mid-May. This means the government will no longer buy and distribute the shots. Instead, price negotiations will shift to insurers and government health programs.
Still, the administration said it was "committed to ensuring that COVID-19 vaccines and treatments will be widely accessible to all who need them."
"There will also be continued access to pathways for emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 products (tests, vaccines, and treatments) through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and major telehealth flexibilities will continue to exist for those participating in Medicare or Medicaid," the government said.
Earlier this year, Moderna already said it was considering pricing the vaccine in the range of $110 to $130 per dose. This is in line with Pfizer, which announced in October that a single dose of its Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine would cost between $110 to $130.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, has previously urged Moderna to "refrain from more than quadrupling the price of its COVID-19 vaccine" given that it only costs $2.85 to manufacture.
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"Your decision will cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Your outrageous price boost will also increase private health insurance premiums," Sanders wrote in a January letter to Bancel. "Perhaps most significantly, the quadrupling of prices will make the vaccine unavailable for many millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans who will not be able to afford it.
Sanders claimed that the cost of producing the vaccine is 2.2% of what Moderna plans to charge.
Sanders also noted that the government gave Moderna $1.7 billion for its "vaccine research and development, and guaranteed the company billions more in sales." In turn, the drugmaker made over $19 billion in profits over the last few years, Sanders said.
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Hoge argued that Moderna more than paid the government back, Reuters reported.
Representatives for Moderna have not responded to FOX Business' request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.