Earlier this week, we debunked pharma’s lies about how drug pricing reforms will hinder innovation and patient access to medications. Our campaign debunking Big Pharma’s lies and setting the record straight on the comprehensive reforms in Congress is updated each day here

Today, we’ll explain how taxpayers played a critical role in funding the research and development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Big Pharma’s Lie: Drug companies saved us with their COVID-19 vaccines. Cracking down on their prices now could hinder future vaccine and drug development. 

✅ The Truth: Taxpayers saved ourselves. The reforms will ensure this can continue.

Watch here.


Taxpayer funding was the engine behind the COVID-19 vaccines, and the package of drug pricing reforms passed by the House will allow the United States to continue leading in drug development while allowing patients to access the medications and vaccines we need at prices we can afford. Taxpayers paved the way for the successful COVID-19 vaccines by investing billions of dollars in research prior to the pandemic and assuming the financial risk after the pandemic began by funding clinical trials, boosting manufacturing capacity, and making advance purchase agreements. Research into the mRNA technology behind the vaccines began decades ago in federally funded labs, and analysts estimate that the U.S. government spent between $18 billion and $23 billion on developing and manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine candidates after the virus emerged. Moderna even admitted that its vaccine was 100 percent funded using federal dollars — in fact, NIH scientists have filed applications for several patents related to the vaccine. 

While drug companies like Pfizer and Moderna try to scare patients by threatening the future of vaccines under the drug pricing reforms, theirexecutives have reaped enormous profits on the COVID-19 vaccines. Pfizer is expected to shatter records with $32 billion in sales this year while Moderna projects $19 billion in sales this year. As COVID-19 is expected to be endemic, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel says the company is preparing to raise prices. To ensure Americans are protected from price gouging on life-saving vaccines, we must pass reforms to limit price hikes to the rate of inflation.

Patient Perspective:

In this New York Times op-ed on the role taxpayers played in developing the COVID-19 vaccines, P4AD founder David Mitchell writes, “Americans should stop buying the pharmaceutical industry’s argument that innovation and new drug development will dry up if the government uses its purchasing power and bargains to get a better deal. The United States spends more per capita than any other wealthy nation for prescription drugs — often the same drugs available for far less overseas. … This year, we can achieve reforms that both advance innovation and ensure Americans can afford the medicines — and vaccines — we need.”