…the payoff came on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, when Merck got a fat reward. They announced the US government had agreed to pay $1.2 billion for 1.7 million doses of their new antiviral, Molnupiravir, BEFORE clinical testing showed either effectiveness or safety. Our hard-earned tax dollars were irresponsibly handed over to Merck by an agency charged with a fiduciary duty to protect our health.
So in the end, Scott Gottlieb did not endanger Pfizer’s bottom line. Just as Moderna was choreographed to go first in the vaccine rollout, Merck was first with the antiviral, and Pfizer first with the booster. They would take turns as there was more than enough profit to go around. Soon it would be Pfizer’s turn at the antiviral trough, but they had to be patient for now. There was an order and method to this.