via The Intercept I by Sharon Lerner I October 23, 2020

Trump sets up pharma billionaires for coronavirus payday

“…And although Regeneron has committed to selling some of the antibodies to the government, which in turn is obligated to distribute them “to the American people at no cost,” according to the government’s July 6 agreement, that deal applies only to “a fixed number of bulk lots.” After that, the pricing is up to the company — a prospect that frightens some economists.

“Executives have an interest in getting the stock price up and price gouging customers is one way they can do this,” said William Lazonick, professor emeritus of economics at University of Massachusetts and co-founder of the Academic-Industry Research Network. While many drug companies argue that they use their vast profits to fund ongoing pharmaceutical innovation, Lazonick said, “we’ve shown that most of these companies don’t do that.” Instead, the soaring prices fuel soaring stock prices and executive pay, which is often based largely on that price…”

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