Pharma buys politicians like candy

SUMMARY: (Financial Times) BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna will dominate the Covid-19 vaccine market next year, generating a massive $93.2bn in combined sales and legislation allowing the government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare is all but dead.

Pfizer is tipped to sell $54.5bn worth of Covid vaccines and Moderna $38.7bn, according to Airfinity data released to the Financial Times. The figures are far higher than analysts’ consensus estimates of $23.6bn and $20bn, respectively. Following criticism of Pfizer and Moderna over their poor record in supplying mRNA doses to middle- and low-income nations this year, both companies will increase their supply of vaccines to the developing world.

Meanwhile, the chance of negotiating drug prices for Medicare is all but dead thanks to big pharma pouring money into politicians’ pockets. Last week, with the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package stalled in Congress, Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema went on a fundraising trip to Europe.

Sinema has been the recipient of vast amounts of campaign cash from those connected to the pharmaceutical industry. The Kaiser Health News even called her a “ pharma favorite in Congress.” Some reports have her receiving as much as $750,000 in drug company-related contributions, which has left many wondering if that’s why she’s not supporting the reconciliation bill.

Axios says it bluntly “the Democrats’ most significant attempt to rein in health care costs in the private market- specifically prescription drug costs — is increasingly likely to fail.”

High drug prices can limit patients’ ability to take what physicians prescribe; this, in turn, leads to worse health outcomes, larger medical bills, and often financial hardship for patients, including bankruptcy. It also raises healthcare costs for public and private insurers alike.

Pharma is big business while pretending to care about patients. The public knows this, but money buys a lot of politicians.

Originally published at on October 18, 2021.




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Richard A Meyer

Richard A Meyer

Marketing leader with over 20 years of online and offline award winning experience valued by clients

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