Moderna CEO at HELP committee should be “moment of reckoning for big pharma”

Moderna CEO at HELP committee should be “moment of reckoning for big pharma”

Release date: 22 March 2023

Ahead of Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel’s appearance before the HELP committee, the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a global coalition of civil society organisations campaigning to improve access to vaccines and treatments, highlights:

  • Moderna spent as much on share buybacks and dividends as they did on R&D ($3.3 billion each) in 2022. The company’s R&D expenses represent 17% of their 2022 revenues.
  • Moderna raked in $8.4 billion in profits in 2022 after tax, a profit margin of 43.4%. The company’s effective tax rate was 13%.
  • Moderna has spent over $4.1 billion on share buybacks since 2021 and plans to spend at least an additional $2.8 billion, for a total of about $7 billion in spending on share buybacks.
  • Moderna’s $400 million “catch-up payment” for its use of an NIH vaccine technology, represents just 1% of COVID-19 vaccine sales revenues through 2022.
  • The US government has invested at least $31.9bn to develop, produce, and purchase mRNA vaccines, including $344 million over the three decades preceding the COVID-19 pandemic. Moderna received $10.8 billion of this funding (British Medical Journal).
  • The NIH has shared elements of mRNA vaccine technology with the World Health Organization (WHO) bakced mRNA Technology Transfer Hub in South Africa, which will share the technology and knowhow with fifteen low and middle-income countries. But Moderna has refused to share its technology – and has filed patents that could threaten the project (Doctors Without Borders).

Julia Kosgei, Policy Co-Lead for the People’s Vaccine Alliance, said:

“Moderna has taken a publicly funded vaccine, built on decades of publicly funded research, and used it to maximise their own profits at the expense of public health. It’s long past time for Stéphane Bancel to be held to account.

“Moderna is spending as much on buybacks and dividends as it is on research and development. It is plainly ludicrous to suggest that this is the best way to ensure everyone has access to effective vaccines and medicines.

“This should be a moment of reckoning for big pharma. Today’s hearing must be the beginning of a conversation about how governments can place public health needs before private profit. That means requiring companies that profit from publicly funded research to share new technologies with the world.”



Unless otherwise stated, stats in this press release have been calculated from Moderna’s Q4 Earnings report.

The People’s Vaccine Alliance is a coalition of over 100 organisations and networks, supported by Nobel Laureates, health experts, economists, Heads of States, faith leaders and activists, working together for vaccines, tests, and treatments to be available free of charge to everyone, everywhere – for a People’s Vaccine:

Media contact
Joe Karp-Sawey, Senior Media Advisor at The People’s Vaccine Alliance
[email protected]