Opinion | Taxpayers Fund Research and Drug Companies Make a Fortune

The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t want things to change, but Americans can have both lower prices and innovation.

By David E. Mitchell

Mr. Mitchell is a cancer patient and a founder of Patients for Affordable Drugs, a nonprofit organization that advocates lower prescription drug prices.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is worried about how Americans will pay for vaccines in the future. As well she should be.

“I worry about the day where the vaccine will no longer be free,” the director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said this month, referring to the fact that the government is providing coronavirus vaccinations to all Americans at no cost. “What about if we need a third booster?” Dr. Walensky asked. “What happens then? Who’s going to pay for that?”

This question should concern every American and every policymaker in Washington. These vaccines, which are critical to ending the scourge of Covid-19, were developed with government funding and purchased for $10 to $19.50 per dose with taxpayer dollars.

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