Pharmaceuticals have only ‘captured’ 1.4% of the rebound due to the reopening of the economy

American biotech company Modern has announced that it expects to earn 20,000 million euros in 2022 from sales of its coronavirus vaccine. However, these figures should be adjusted downwards, since in 2021 it was found that, compared to a billing forecast of 20,000 million, the firm finally entered some 17,700 million.

This is due to the fact that some possible contracts do not materialize and that others are renegotiated downwards due to various circumstances. Therefore, everything points to the combined sales that Moderna will obtain for the period 2021-2022 in concept of sales of its coronavirus vaccine will be approximately 36,000 million.

As is logical, the pharmaceutical company had to previously disburse very important costs associated with the production of said vaccine. These expenses were also borne by the United States government. The Executive, then chaired by Donald Trump, opted to accelerate the vaccine with an expenditure of 1,000 million dollars, according to data from the Global Health Center. To this figure we must add another 1,000 million contributed by Moderna, to reach a contribution of approximately 2,000 million.

Throughout the year 2021, Moderna’s financial statements recorded a profit of 12.2 billion dollars. Approximately 90% of the profits came from the huge sales of the vaccine, so that the fraction attributable to this product amounted to 11,000 million dollars. Considering also the sales projection for 2022, we would talk about accumulated profits of 22,000 million in 2021-2022generated with a contribution of 2,000 million.

However, we cannot ignore that, thanks to the approval of vaccines as a solution against the pandemic, the world’s economies have gradually reopened, leaving behind the impoverishing confinements of the year 2020. After all, global GDP has left 2.74 trillions euros throughout the first exercise of restrictions, which increased the incidence of extreme poverty by more than 100 million people, as shown by World Bank reports. In contrast, the global GDP of 2021 exhibited a rebound of 11.2 trillions dollars, while that of 2022 is expected to add another additional growth of 3.94 trillions. Therefore, the rebound associated with mass vaccination and the end of health restrictions has been 15.13 trillions of dollars.

What part of the vaccination corresponds to Moderna? In the European Union, Moderna has been responsible for slightly less than 20% of these doses. However, considering that many emerging economies have licensed various vaccines developed by China or Russia, it seems sensible to conservatively estimate that the final balance of doses administered by Moderna globally would be around 10%.

Well, what ratio cost-benefit ratio does this calculation yield? We have, on the one hand, that the economic rebound caused by the lifting of health restrictions associated with vaccination has been 15.13 trillions dollars, so that 10% of that social gain would be 1.5 trillions, a figure slightly higher than the GDP of Spain. In exchange, Moderna would have accumulated profits of 22,000 million during that process of economic recovery. Therefore, the ratio is overwhelmingly positive and shows that The company would have barely captured a fraction of the general improvement caused by the economic reopening that vaccines have enabled: just 1.47%.

These calculations are consistent with the historical research of the Nobel Prize in Economics, William Nordhaus, who has estimated that great entrepreneurs receive less than 5% of the social benefit associated with their activities. In this case, the percentage would be even lower due to the enormous effect rebound linked to the deployment of vaccines and the end of health restrictions, as well as the global reach of the pandemic and everything related to it.

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