Big Pharma CEOs are making millions off COVID vaccines raising questions over massive pay packages, questionable stock sales and windfall profits made possible by taxpayer funding.
As pharmaceutical companies make billions from COVID vaccines and reassure investors that plans are underway for boosters and annual shots, CEOs of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson (J&J) are pocketing millions with massive compensation packages and questionable stock sales.
In his weekly notes to investors last month, Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal offered shocking revenue estimates for Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines — $24 billion in revenue for Pfizer compared with $14 billion for Moderna.
By the fourth quarter, Gal and his team project industrywide COVID vaccine revenues reaching more than $18 billion per quarter. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots will account for roughly $11 billion of that amount with the remaining revenue split equally between J&J, AstraZeneca and Novavax, Fierce Pharma reported.
Pfizer’s first quarter revenue report released May 4 showed $3.5 billion in revenue generated during the first three months of this year by the company’s COVID vaccine — making it the biggest source of Pfizer’s revenue. The company now anticipates revenue of $26 billion for its COVID vaccine, up from its previous estimate of $15 billion.
According to a February report by Accountable.US — a nonprofit non-partisan public advocate and watchdog organization that monitors public corruption — executives at five drug companies, including Moderna, Pfizer, J&J, Emergent Biosolutions (contracted to manufacture J&J’s vaccine) and Novavax made $250 million dumping company stocks during the first six months of “Operation Warp Speed.”
According to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, from the beginning of September through November 15, 2020, executives and directors at Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax and Emergent, who received government COVID vaccine funding, made stock transactions valued at a net profit of more than $105 million.
In February, Accountable.US sent letters to Pfizer, Emergent and Moderna calling for the release of the 10b5 automatic trading plans used by top executives who made millions of dollars dumping company stock and requested CEOs freeze sales until the SEC could investigate and release updated guidance regarding automatic trading plans for companies receiving taxpayer funding and advance purchase guarantees.