Pfizer Sets Future Price for COVID Vaccine

Figure up to $130 per dose
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 21, 2022 4:05 PM CDT
Pfizer Sets Future Price for COVID Vaccine
A syringe is placed into a vial of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a COVID-19 clinic in Augusta, Maine, last December.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Pfizer will charge $110 to $130 for a dose of its COVID-19 vaccine once the US government stops buying the shots, but the drugmaker says it expects many people will continue receiving it for free. Pfizer executives said the commercial pricing for adult doses could start early next year, depending on when the government phases out its program of buying and distributing the shots. The drugmaker said it expects that people with private health insurance or coverage through public programs like Medicare or Medicaid will pay nothing. The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover many recommended vaccines without charging any out-of-pocket expenses, the AP reports.

The company also has an income-based assistance program that helps eligible US residents with no insurance get the shots, a spokesman said. The price would make the two-dose vaccine more expensive for cash-paying customers than annual flu shots. Those can range in price from around $50 to $95, depending on the type, according to CVS Health, which runs one of the nation's biggest drugstore chains. A Pfizer executive said the price reflects increased costs for switching to single-dose vials and commercial distribution. The executive, Angela Lukin, said the price was well below the threshold "for what would be considered a highly effective vaccine."

The drugmaker said last year that it was charging the US $19.50 per dose, and that it had three tiers of pricing globally, depending on each country's financial situation. In June, the company said the US government would buy an additional 105 million doses in a deal that amounted to roughly $30 per shot. Pfizer's two-shot vaccine debuted in late 2020 and has been the most common preventive shot used to fight COVID-19 in the US. More than 375 million doses of the original vaccine, which Pfizer developed with the German drugmaker BioNTech, have been distributed in the US, according to the CDC. The vaccine brought in $36.78 billion in revenue last year for Pfizer.

(More Pfizer stories.)

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