Pfizer expects to raise the price of the covid vaccine in the US to $110-$130 per dose

NEW YORK, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc expects to roughly quadruple the price of its COVID-19 vaccine to around $110 to $130 per dose after the U.S. government’s current purchase program expires, Pfizer Chief Executive Angela Lukin said on Thursday.

Lukin said she expects the vaccine — currently given free to everyone by the government — will be made available at no cost to people who have private insurance or government-paid insurance.

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

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The U.S. government currently pays about $30 per dose to Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE ( 22UAy.DE ). In 2023, the market is expected to transition to private insurance after the US public health crisis ends.

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

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

Pfizer said it expects the COVID-19 market to be about the size of the annual flu shot market for adults, but that it will take longer to build the pediatric market based on shots given so far.

So far, the U.S. rollout of updated COVID-19 booster shots that target both the original coronavirus strain and the Omicron strain has lagged behind last year’s rate despite more people qualifying for the shots.

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

Lukin said she does not expect purchases 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 public supply being used up.

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Reporting by Michael Erman; Author of Caroline Humer; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Richard Pullin

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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