Pfizer to boost price of COVID-19 vaccine in USA by 300 per cent

Wednesday, October 26, 2022: According to a Reuters report, Pfizer official Angela Lukin says that the company will sell the COVID-19 vaccine through normal commercial channels, in a single-dose vial, and it will be priced at US$110 – US$130 per dose for adults.

Pfizer began selling the vaccine to the US government at US$19.50 per dose in 5-dose vials, under a contract for 100 million doses. The price increased to US$30.50 per dose in the latest contract in mid-2022. Lukin said that the company is waiting for US government contracts to expire and existing US supplies to run out. Unless the Biden Administration obtains further funding from Congress, government stocks of the vaccine will run out by early 2023. Republicans are blocking the new funding for now.

Pfizer argues that citizens will still get the vaccine for free, but that instead of the taxpayer paying for it, it will be paid for by health insurance companies and employers. But about 30 million US residents are uninsured, and the Biden Administration will be challenged to ensure that they have access to future boosters, treatments and vaccines. These 30 million will have to rely on charity from foundations, companies and other groups who have paid for non-pandemic medicines for some people who don’t have insurance. Huge numbers will not have access to COVID-19 vaccines as cases again spike in the coming winter.

Pfizer may try to impose any price it achieves in the USA on the rest of the world, where October 2022 data shows that 2.5 billion people have not had even one dose of vaccine, and boosters have been received by just 1.5 per cent of people in low-income countries, and 18 per cent in lower-middle-income countries. This grotesque inequality of vaccine protection happened under the current pricing regime, and can only get much worse under a regime like Pfizer’s proposed “commercial pricing”.

In May, Pfizer said it expected its COVID-19 vaccines to bring in about $32 billion in sales for 2022, and reported a 61 per cent increase in profits.