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Moderna shareholders exasperated by unequal vaccine access

Moderna shareholders exasperated by unequal vaccine access

Posted December. 29, 2021 07:44,   

Updated December. 29, 2021 07:44


Some Moderna shareholders demanded that the pharmaceutical company disclose details of the pricing of its COVID-19 vaccines, accusing the company of not only delaying the supply of vaccines to underdeveloped and underfinanced nations but also having sold its vaccine at higher prices than advanced countries, despite considerable sum of government subsidies for the development of the vaccine

According to a report by The Financial Times, Legal & General, a leading UK asset management firm, sent a shareholder proposal and supporting statement to Moderna on behalf of some of the drugmaker’s shareholders, demanding it reveal how U.S. government funding affect pricing of its vaccine. How many shareholders signed in the statement and how much stake they own remain undisclosed.

The shareholders criticized that Moderna, unlike other vaccine producers such as Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, did not provide vaccines to non-profit organizations while the pandemic was raging on, and even sold the vaccines at higher prices to developing nations than advanced countries. According to the analysis by The New York Times, Moderna has charged as much as 27 to 30 dollars per dose in countries including Botswana in Africa and Colombia in South America. The drugmaker has charged the U.S. around 15 to 16.5 dollars and EU around 22.6 to 25.5 dollars per dose.

Unlike the Pfizer, which developed COVID-19 vaccine without the federal government’s funding, Moderna was funded by the government a total of 2.48 billion dollars and rolled out its vaccine. The pharmaceutical company, however, is now condemned for having neglected efforts to address vaccine inequity.

Bo-Mi Im bom@donga.com