Pfizer Plans Steep Price Hike for Covid Vax, More Corona Boosters, World Covid Stats

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Pfizer looks to charge $110 a dose for COVID vax

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Pfizer expects to roughly quadruple the price of its COVID-19 vaccine to between $110 to $130 per dose once the U.S. government’s purchasing program ends early next year, a company official said.

Angela Lukin, the president of U.S. operations, said during an investor call Thursday the company is still in discussion with insurers but that they are confident the price will ensure equitable access and reimbursement.

Lukin said Pfizer is working on manufacturing a single-dose shot, rather than multi-dose vials used currently, and the increased cost reflects that.

Under the most recent contract, the federal government pays about $30 a dose and then distributes the vaccine to the public for free.

  • The $110 to $130 price tag is the list price without negotiated discounts, meaning people with Medicare, Medicaid or private health insurance would most likely pay nothing at all.
  • Pfizer’s contract with the U.S. government runs through the end of the year. Federal health officials have said they anticipate shifting COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments to the commercial marketplace sometime next year.
  • The government has already stopped providing free COVID-19 tests.

Drug pricing advocacy groups were outraged, calling the move an effort to price-gouge consumers.

Peter Marks, who leads the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccines operation, is still losing sleep over Covid.

Yes, vaccines for all age groups have been authorized or approved. Yes, an updated vaccine is now available. And, yes, multiple products are in use and hundreds of millions of doses have been given in this country.

But Marks said there are other issues that weigh on him.

Chief among them is the fact that, given the rate at which SARS-CoV-2 viruses mutate, Marks thinks it’s conceivable that the booster shot people are getting now may not be the last some will need for the coming year.

“I would be lying to you if [I said] it doesn’t keep me up at night worrying that there is a certain chance that we may have to deploy another booster — at least for a portion of the population, perhaps older individuals — before next September, October,” Marks told STAT.

“I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen, but it’s what keeps me up at night, because we see how fast this virus is evolving.”



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