Pfizer Sees ‘Opportunity’ to Raise Price of COVID Vaccine

Pfizer is looking to turn its lucrative coronavirus vaccine into an even bigger revenue stream.

The drugmaker sees a “significant opportunity” to charge more for the innovative injection once it reaches the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, says a senior executive.

Pfizer set current prices for the vaccine it developed with its German partner, BioNTech, based on the need for governments to lock in doses and control the virus, according to CFO Frank D’Amelio.

For example, Pfizer is charging the US government $ 19.50 per dose, well below the $ 150 or $ 175 per dose it normally pays for a vaccine, D’Amelio said on the earnings call. from the company in February.

But “normal market conditions will start to appear” as the global pandemic becomes endemic, D’Amelio said last week.

He suggested that those less urgent conditions could play to Pfizer’s benefit given that its injection is 95 percent effective, the highest rate among the three vaccines currently licensed for use in the United States.

Healthcare workers prepare doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Manning High School vaccine in Manning, South Carolina.
Healthcare workers prepare doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Manning High School vaccine in Manning, South Carolina.
Micah Green / Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Factors like efficacy, booster ability, clinical utility will be basically very important, and we see it, frankly, as a significant opportunity for our vaccine from a demand perspective, from a pricing perspective, given the clinical profile of our vaccine, “D’Amelio said Thursday during the Barclays Global Healthcare Conference.

But Pfizer said it expects governments to be the main buyers of its vaccine as the pandemic lasts until 2022, during which time it hopes to keep prices low.

“We recognize the urgent need for people around the world to receive this vaccine and, accordingly, we have priced our vaccine for the pandemic period to encourage broad access, rather than using traditional pricing frameworks based on In securities, “said Faith Salamon, a Pfizer spokeswoman. The publication in an email.

The Manhattan-based pharmaceutical giant already expects to raise about $ 15 billion in sales this year of the two-dose COVID vaccine with a profit margin of more than 20 percent of total revenue from the injection.

Those earnings could rise even further once Pfizer exits the “pandemic price environment,” D’Amelio told investors last month.

“Obviously, we will get more prices,” he said on Pfizer’s earnings call. “And clearly … the more volume we put into our factories, the lower the unit cost.”

Pfizer also believes that it is “increasingly likely” that people will need an annual booster injection to protect themselves from the COVID-19 variants that have emerged around the world, according to D’Amelio.

Pfizer has launched a study of a third vaccine dose to address the variants.

“We don’t see this as a one-time event, but we see it as something that will continue for the foreseeable future,” D’Amelio said.

Pfizer shares rose 0.9 percent to $ 35.72 as of 2:16 p.m.


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