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March 23, 2023

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Moderna's proposed COVID-19 vaccine price increase

On March 22, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing entitled, "Taxpayers Paid Billions For It: So Why Would Moderna Consider Quadrupling the Price of the COVID Vaccine?" The hearing centered on Moderna's plan to increase the price of its COVID-19 MRNA vaccine to $130 per dose, up from the government's price of $26.36 per dose, as Moderna prepares to transition the drug from a government purchaser to the commercial market as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency winddown. During the hearing, lawmakers first heard testimony from Moderna's CEO Stéphane Bancel, who emphasized the increased costs Moderna would face in transitioning from a "pandemic" to an "endemic" disease response, as well as the overall value of the vaccine, as justification for the hike. In response, there was much debate among committee members as to the importance of maintaining an innovative US drug market while preserving affordability and access to life saving drugs. Lawmakers also heard testimony from a panel of academics who shared their concerns regarding drug innovation and public accessibility.

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Washington Council Ernst & Young
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Hearing on Moderna’s proposed COVID-19 vaccine price increase