Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

Referring to the article by Patrick Temple-West and Kiran Stacey, “Modern Resistance Calls for Investors to Reduce Prices” (Report, December 29), it makes sense for drug manufacturers of any kind to sell their products at lower prices in developing countries as long as they can prevent such products from seeping back into the “gray market” in rich countries.

Moderna has the added concern of not losing its technological secrets to other producers.

If Moderna is unable to produce enough at its facilities in the US to meet international demand, it will have to license production at existing facilities in developing countries.

To protect its technology, it can follow the Coca-Cola approach. Coca-Cola has bottlers all over the world, but its secret formula never leaves the US.

Perhaps Moderna could produce a key ingredient in the US to be sent to licensees in developing countries for final wording.

This will ease any production bottlenecks in the US. Gray marketing in rich countries can be reduced by special packaging and labeling indicating that doses are for distribution in developing countries only.

Bruce Couchman
Ottawa, ON, Canada

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