will price its Covid-19 vaccine at about $130 a dose when it shifts to commercial distribution of the shots later this year, much higher than what the federal government has paid.
The plans could add to criticism of the company from lawmakers who are scheduled to explore the cost of the shots at a hearing Wednesday.
The cost could vary depending on contracts reached with health systems, pharmacies, federal health programs and other potential buyers, but the company has settled on a price of about $130, Moderna President
“We tried to think very reasonably about the price of this, and I think we’ve landed on a price that is consistent with value,” Dr. Hoge said.
Moderna, like other Covid-19 vaccine makers, has been developing a list price for its shots and negotiating contracts as the federal government winds down its exclusive pandemic purchasing arrangements.
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The U.S. government paid Moderna between $15 and $26 a dose and made them available at no cost. Sales will shift to the commercial market after the Biden administration ends the national emergency in May and government supplies are used up.
The Wall Street Journal reported in January that Moderna was considering a commercial price range of about $110 to $130 a dose, similar to what
said it was considering for the Covid-19 vaccine it sells with partner
Moderna disclosed its planned price, which was earlier reported by Reuters, as it faces criticism over its plans.
(I., Vt.) sent a letter to Moderna Chief Executive
in January asking him to reconsider, saying that the company had received federal funding to develop its Covid-19 vaccine and that charging a high price could put it out of reach for some people and boost costs for government health programs.
Mr. Bancel is scheduled to testify Wednesday morning at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which Mr. Sanders chairs, to explain Moderna’s pricing plans.
(D., Mass.) and
(D., Vt.) also sent a letter to Mr. Bancel, requesting information about the planned price increase.
Dr. Hoge said that Moderna is grateful for the financial support it received from the U.S. government, but that the company in exchange sold shots under federal supply contracts at a lower price than the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
“We feel we have honored the support we got and then paid it back and then some,” he said.
In setting a new commercial price, Dr. Hoge said, Moderna also considered the value of its Covid-19 vaccine in combating a disease that is still more burdensome than seasonal flu, and that pneumonia and some other vaccines have even higher prices.
The company expects the new pricing will take effect for the Covid-19 booster shots it develops for a fall vaccination campaign.
Dr. Hoge said people with insurance won’t have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine. Moderna plans to start a patient-assistance program that provides the vaccine free to uninsured or underinsured people.
Write to Peter Loftus at Peter.Loftus@wsj.com
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