Pfizer Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Frank D’Amelio has told investors the company’s plan to dramatically increase the price of its vaccine against COVID-19, by nearly 900%, once governments stop being the primary buyers of their vaccine.
“Based on everything we’ve seen to date, we believe it’s becoming increasingly likely that an annual revaccination is going to take place,” D’Amelio said on Thursday, adding that it would most likely be a single-dose booster.
He said that so far, pricing for the shot has been dictated primarily by the “needs of governments” to secure enough doses to vaccinate their entire populations at no cost to the receiver.
“As we move from a pandemic state, from a pandemic situation to an endemic situation, normal market forces, normal market conditions will start to kick in. And factors like efficacy, booster ability, clinical utility will basically become very important, and we view that as, quite frankly, a significant opportunity for our vaccine from a demand perspective, from a pricing perspective, given the clinical profile of our vaccine,” D’Amelio said, adding that “we think as this shifts from pandemic to endemic, we think there’s an opportunity here for us.”
When the disease becomes endemic, that means it’s here to stay and will continue to break out periodically in parts of the population. This is much the case for a disease like influenza, for which an annual vaccine booster is often recommended.
Last month, D’Amelio told Wall Street analysts that Pfizer gets $19.50 per dose at present, but noted “that’s not a normal price, like we typically get for a vaccine – $150, $175 per dose. Let’s go beyond a pandemic pricing environment, the environment we’re currently in: Obviously, we’re going to get more on price.” That’s an almost-ninefold increase in price.