Vaccines against the coronavirus at cost price? No, say three manufacturers

Vaccins contre le coronavirus à prix coûtant? Non, disent trois fabricants

The american companies Pfizer, Merck and Moderna have confirmed on Tuesday that they do not sell their potential vaccines against the coronavirus at cost price, at a hearing in the us Congress.

Conversely, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca are committed to sell initially their vaccines without making profit.

Several companies have received grants of hundreds of millions of dollars of the us government or other States, but these agreements are not always accompanied by clauses capping the final price of the doses.

“We will not sell at cost price,” said the president of Moderna, Stephen Hoge, in response to the question of a parliamentary. The biotechnology company has developed one of the experimental vaccines the most advanced, with large-scale testing in phase 3 which should start next week on 30 000 volunteers. It has received 483 M$ money american public to fund the research and development, but without a supply contract to the United States, said Stephen Hoge.

“No, we will not sell at cost price”, said Julie Gerberding, Merck, which will be no vaccine ready before 2021 at the earliest, and who has not signed a supply contract with Washington.

“It is an extraordinary period and our price will reflect that,” added John Young, Pfizer. “During the pandemic, we will set the price of our potential vaccine taking into account the global health emergency at present.”

But AstraZeneca, partner of the University of Oxford for the development of a vaccine, the most advanced at this stage, already in phase 3, has signed a contract for$ 1.2 billion with the agency Barda of the u.s. government, which includes the delivery of 300 million doses at cost price. The european Union has signed a similar contract in June.

Johnson & Johnson, also funded by the operation “Warp Speed” of the White House (456 M$), has separately said that the price of more than a billion doses would be without income during the emergency phase of the pandemic.

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