October 07, 2021 from Children's Health Defense

The New Jersey-based pharmaceutical giant Merck is facing accusations of price gouging after it charged the U.S. over $700 per patient for a taxpayer-funded coronavirus treatment that, according to research, costs just $17.74 to produce.

Last week, Merck announced plans to request emergency federal authorization for molnupiravir after a late-stage clinical trial showed that a five-day course of the antiviral drug cut the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization or death in half in patients with mild-to-moderate cases.

The same day Merck unveiled the results of the trial and White House officials hailed the drug as another possible tool against COVID-19, the New York Times reported that “the federal government has placed advance orders for 1.7 million courses of treatment, at a price of about $700 per patient” — far more than the estimated cost of manufacturing the drug.

According to an analysis by Melissa Barber of Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and Dzintars Gotham of King’s College Hospital in London, “the cost of production for molnupiravir capsules is U.S. $1.74 per unit, or U.S. $17.74 per five-day regimen.”

“Adding an allowance for 10% profit margin and taxes in India, we arrive at an estimated sustainable generic price of U.S. $1.96 per capsule or U.S. $19.99 per five-day regimen,” the researchers concluded.

Dean Baker, a senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, noted that the $712 price-per-course price the U.S. government is set to pay for molnupiravir amounts to a roughly 4,000% markup.

Quartz’s Annalisa Merelli reported last week that with Merck expecting to produce 10 million courses of molnupiravir before the end of 2021, the company “could bring in revenue up to $7 billion.”

“This would make it, in only a few weeks, one of the 10 most lucrative drugs ever,” Merelli observed.

Based on everything we know about how pharma companies have acted during this globally devastating pandemic, this profiteering is…

*checks notes*

… entirely unsurprising.#PeopleNotProfits@KEI_DC https://t.co/haBCanFwYA

— The People’s Vaccine (@peoplesvaccine) October 6, 2021

If authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, molnupiravir — which Merck developed in partnership with the Miami-based firm Ridgeback Biotherapeutics — would be the first antiviral pill approved to treat COVID-19, potentially a major breakthrough in the fight against the global pandemic.

But it’s unclear how accessible the treatment will be for people in the U.S. and around the world, given its cost and Merck’s monopoly control over production. Numerous countries, including Singapore and Thailand, are already racing to secure access to the drug.

“Governments must break Merck’s monopolies so generic companies can expand supply and slash prices globally,” said Asia Russell, executive director of Health GAP.

Heidi Chow of the Jubilee Debt Campaign decried the $700-per-patient price the U.S. government paid for molnupiravir as “another example of Big Pharma reaping billions from public investment into research by charging extortionate, rip-off prices for lifesaving COVID drugs.”

One analyst predicted COVID boosters alone will bring in ~$26 billion in global sales next year for Pfizer + BioNTech — and around $14 billion for Moderna if the shots are endorsed for nearly all Americans.

SIGN UP #TheDefender: https://t.co/zL66EdwTnDhttps://t.co/S7tYuWYNKp

— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) September 27, 2021

“This is why we need to waive patents on all COVID treatments and vaccines,” said Chow.

As The Intercept’s Sharon Lerner reported Tuesday, molnupiravir was developed with the help of tens of millions of dollars in U.S. government funding.

“The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a division of the Department of Defense, provided more than $10 million of funding in 2013 and 2015 to Emory University,” from which Ridgeback licensed the drug in 2020, Lerner noted.

“The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, also provided Emory with more than $19 million in additional grants.”

In addition to slamming Merck for selling the drug to the U.S. at a price 40 times higher than the cost of production, public health advocates stressed the Biden administration has an obligation to ensure that the treatment is made widely available and affordable to all.

“The public funded this drug, and therefore the public has some rights, including the rights you have it available under reasonable terms,” Luis Gil Abinader, a senior researcher at Knowledge Ecology International, told The Intercept.

Abinader pointed to the federal government’s so-called “march in” rights under the Bayh-Dole Act. That law, enacted in 1980, allows the government to intervene and license a federally funded drug to a third party if the manufacturer fails to make the medicine “available to the public on reasonable terms.”

The U.S. government has never exercised its march in rights to drive down the cost of a drug.

“The pressure for march-in rights around this drug is going to be huge,” Abinader said of molnupiravir. “When the Biden administration negotiates another supply agreement with Merck, they should probably leverage those rights in order to get a better price.”

Originally published by Common Dreams.

The post Merck’s 4,000% Markup of Taxpayer-Funded COVID Drug Is ‘Extortion,’ Critics Say appeared first on Children's Health Defense.

Read Original Article
See Also ...
December 19, 2022
THE PLAN shows the official agenda of the World Health Organization to have ten years of ongoing pandemics, from 2020 to 2030. This is revealed by a WHO virologist, Marion Koopmans. You will also see shocking evidence that the first pandemic was planned and abundantly announced right before it happened.
November 28, 2022
Why do we never believe them? For centuries, the global elite have broadcast their intentions to depopulate the world - even to the point of carving them into stone. And yet… we never seem to believe them. The Stew Peters Network is proud to present DIED SUDDENLY, from the award winning filmmakers, Matthew Skow and Nicholas Stumphauzer.
November 14, 2022
This well researched documentary is a must see if you want to understand how governments around the world were deceived into BELIEVING the "science" which underpinned the global COVID response. How could people up to the highest levels of society be deceived?
October 04, 2022
Montagnier won the 2008 Nobel Prize for his co-discovery of the link between HIV and AIDS. Fact checkers swiftly deemed these claims to be false and the paper was taken down.
September 24, 2022
Cardiologist, Nuclear Cardiologist, Physicist, PhD, MD and JD, Dr. Fleming under oath describes the Spike protein bioweapon timeline and the parties involved in its development.
August 14, 2022
You were told the answer to everyone’s prayers was to get the Covid-19 injection. But now that you have done so, the healthcare system is on the brink of collapse. Waiting times for ambulances are at an all-time high. The number of emergency calls due to people suffering cardiac arrest is at an all-time high. The number of people dying is at an all-time high, with hundreds of thousands of excess deaths occurring around the world every single week.
July 11, 2022
Steve Kirsch talks with Brook Jackson and her top legal leads Warner Mendenhall, Robert Barnes about her False Claims case against Pfizer et al.
July 10, 2022
Brook Jackson is the Pfizer whistleblower. Her attorney, Robert Barnes, says that Brook Jackson exposed the fact that the Pfizer clinical trial was riddled with errors and fraudulent and false certifications to the US government.
July 09, 2022
The physicians said that they were suing Twitter for permanently suspending them for posting truthful information about COVID and also failing to provide them with verified badges.
June 19, 2022
We are pleased to bring your attention to the following featured article because it is a clear, well-written description of the monkeypox fraud delivered in a hard-hitting, no-nonsense style. We’ve added some emphases in red. [...]
June 16, 2022
One of the confidential Pfizer documents reveals that approximately 800 people never completed the phase 1 Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine trial. Click title above to read the full article
June 05, 2022
Instantly view those 3 videos or join the Fully Live Community where you can see various talks and interviews with David, as well as talks with David & Kim! By joining the community you will have access to many more videos!
June 03, 2022
Dr. David Martin lays it all out brilliantly. Inspirational!
June 03, 2022
British Medical Journal  by Kevin Bardosh1,2, Alex de Figueiredo3, Rachel Gur-Arie et al. Abstract Vaccination policies have shifted dramatically during COVID-19 with the rapid emergence of population-wide vaccine mandates, domestic vaccine passports and differential restrictions based on vaccination status. While these policies have prompted ethi
Notify me of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments