Big Pharma is at it again. A new report finds they are inflating the price of a breakthrough, taxpayer funded, COVID-19 drug by 40 times what it costs them to make it.
A five day course of molnupiravir, the new medicine being hailed as a “huge advance” in the treatment of Covid-19, costs $17.74 to produce, according to a report issued last week by drug pricing experts at the Harvard School of Public Health and King’s College Hospital in London. Merck is charging the U.S. government $712 for the same amount of medicine, or 40 times the price.
Even though Big Pharma companies were only able to make the pill with $35 million from taxpayers, they alone will pocket the profits.
Those profits, according to one report, could be as big as $7 billion by the end of the year.
Since taxpayers partially funded the development of this new drug, it is only reasonable that it be made available to the public at an affordable price. Even pricing the drug at $19.00 would yield a 10 percent profit margin.
Yet despite taxpayer funding, and the ability to garner a healthy profit margin from an affordable price, Big Pharma has set the price at more than $700.
Pharmaceutical companies that develop breakthrough medications should be able to make a return on their work and investment. But when they start selling a taxpayer funded drug at 40 times its production costs, and bringing in record-setting profits, that's when you know Big Pharma's profit-first mentality has gone too far.