A slap in the Pface: Pfizer chief: Covid will be a ‘multi-billion $ franchise for years to come’
Firm prepares to stick 10,000% Markup on its Vaccine
- The price hike is a result of dwinding government funds for vaccine doses
- The uninsured population will be on the hook for the out of pocket cost of shots
- Pfizer has earned about $80bn on vaccines and the antiviral drug Paxlovid
Pfizer’s chief financial officer has described the Covid pandemic as a ‘multi-billion dollar franchise’ — and expects profit to continue.
David Denton told investors in an earnings call last week his company’s vaccine and antiviral would still be ‘relevant for many years to come’.
The CFO said he expects the Covid virus to be ‘somewhat like a flu… but more deadly’ — meaning therapeutics will still have a massive role in controlling the virus.
So far Pfizer has reaped about $80 billion in yearly revenue from sales of Covid vaccines and the antiviral drug Paxlovid.
The company announced last month it will triple the price of its shot to up to $130 per dose next year — a far cry from the roughly $19 to $30 per dose that the government paid.
Some experts estimate each individual shot to cost just $1.18 to make — meaning the new price represents a 10,000 per cent markup.
Analysts speculate that the move was made so Pfizer could still meet its target of $32 billion of projected vaccine revenue this year.
Critics say that the decision shows the firm’s greed. Peter Maybarduk, director of access to medicines at Public Citizen, told DailyMail.com that the firm was already in a good of financial position that they could take some loss.
Maybarduk also said that the firm has already made an ‘obscene’ amount of money, and will be ok if they do not meet revenue projections that were likely inflated anyways.
Pfizer was an early winner during the pandemic when it became the first company to get a Covid-19 vaccine approved for the US market. Subsequent vaccine mandates for healthcare workers and the military further drove up sales of vaccines.
The company projects $102 billion in total revenue this year with the vaccine and its antiviral Paxlovid – more than double the company’s yearly revenue in 2019 ($40.9 billion) and 2020 ($41.7 billion).
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told investors last Tuesday: ‘With regard to our COVID-19 products, while their sales may fall from our expected 2022 levels of approximately combined $55 billion, we believe our COVID-19 franchises will remain multibillion-dollar revenue generators for the foreseeable future…
The company also expects its vaccines in development for respiratory syncitial virus to be a big earner once it earns regulatory approval. The company is working on shots to help seniors who are at higher risk of contracting the disease as well as pregnant women who, when given the shots, confer some protection to their babies in utero.
Bourla said: ‘So there is the potential that, subject to regulatory approval, by late 2023, early 2024, we could have the only RSV maternal vaccine in the market, along with an RSV vaccine for older adults.’
‘Combined, the 2 indications represent a potential multibillion-dollar peak revenue opportunity if approved, especially with our highly respected primary care sales force executing these launches,’ he added.
Header featured image (edited) credit: Med Tech holding vile/REUTERS Image
Emphasis and pictorial image added by (TLB) editors
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