Pfizer plans to raise price of US COVID vaccine to $110-130 per dose

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NEW YORK — Pfizer plans to roughly quadruple the price of its COVID-19 vaccine to about $110 to $130 per dose after the current U.S. government procurement program expires, Pfizer chief Angela Lukin said Thursday.

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Lukin said she expects the vaccine – currently provided free to everyone by the government – ​​to be made available free of charge to people who have private insurance or government-paid insurance.

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Earlier on Thursday, Reuters reported that Wall Street expected such price increases due to weak demand for COVID vaccines, which meant vaccine makers would have to raise prices to meet revenue forecasts for 2023 and beyond.

The US government currently pays about $30 per dose to Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE. In 2023, the market is expected to shift to private insurance after the public health emergency in the United States expires.

« We are confident that the US price of the COVID-19 vaccine reflects its overall cost-effectiveness and ensures that price will not be a barrier to access for patients, » Lukin said.

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It is not yet known what kind of access people without health insurance will have to the vaccine.

Pfizer said it expects the COVID-19 market to be roughly the size of the flu vaccine market on an annual basis for adults, but the pediatric market would take longer to develop depending on the vaccines administered so far.

So far, the U.S. rollout of updated COVID-19 booster shots that target both the original strain of coronavirus and the Omicron strain has lagged compared to last year, although more people are eligible for injections.

About 14.8 million people in the United States received a booster shot in the first six weeks of the new vaccines’ rollout. In the first six weeks of the 2021 revaccination campaign, more than 22 million people received their third injection, although only the elderly and immunocompromised were eligible at that time.

Lukin said she does not expect the purchase of the vaccines to be transferred to the private sector until the first quarter of 2023 « at the earliest ». The move is dependent on the government contracted supply running out.

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