This price model reflects the transition from the pandemic model to normal procurement paradigms, higher distribution costs as well as a transition from multidose vials to the single-dose version of the vaccine, said the drug maker.
“The EUA environment has been new for all of us, but we will now be moving into our sweet spot of the traditional commercial marketplace. With decades of experience, launching and commercializing medicines and vaccines, we are confident that we will see the continued success of the vaccine once this transition occurs,” said Angela Lukin, global president for hospital business, Pfizer, speaking at the company's recent analyst and investor call to review RSV data and to provide a COVID vaccine commercial update.
She said the price for the COVID vaccine reflects the value that the company believes it delivers to patients and society, and is based on its cost modelling. “We believe that the CDC will recommend annual COVID-19 vaccinations for a broad population, meaning that there will be no out-of-pocket costs for Americans, regardless of which insurance they have.”
And as the pharma group heads into this next phase, Lukin said the plan is also to evolve the packaging and storage of the vaccine to better meet customer needs and the commercial workflow. “These include single-dose vials, last mile shipping options and more flexible minimum ordering quantities. Additionally, we aim to build on our long-standing partnerships with wholesalers to provide ordering and stocking options that more closely resemble the normal course of operations in a commercial environment.”
US only hikes for now
A spokesperson for Pfizer told BioPharma-Reporter the comments made regarding potential future vaccine pricing were specific to the US. “We have government contracts in many developed markets outside the US valid through 2023, and as such, have agreed prices in those markets.”
Due to lower demand, analysts were expecting the pharma giants to hike prices for their COVID-19 shots to enable manufacturers to meet revenue forecasts for 2023 and beyond. But Pfizer's price targets for its COVID vaccine are well above the cost of annual influenza shots, noted a piece on Reuters. Under its Medicare program, the US government pays around US$20 to US$30 for standard flu shots and around US$70 for high-dose shots.