Drugmaker Pfizer said on Friday that as government contracts expire, possibly early next year, its Covid-19 vaccine will sell for $110 to $130 per dose.
This pricing model follows increased distribution costs and the anticipated shift from multi-dose to single-dose routes.
This is a “commercial listing,” but the company says it doesn’t anticipate most people will have to pay out of pocket. He also pointed to a patient assistance program that helps uninsured people get vaccinated.
For now, vaccines against Covid-19 are still available for free. Pfizer says it anticipates that the cost of the Covid-19 vaccine could be in place when vaccine distribution and reimbursement transitions from government contracts to the traditional health care system in the first quarter of 2023.
An analysis released this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation said that without additional funding or protection, the commercialization of Covid-19 prevention and countermeasures would create access barriers to vaccines, tests and therapeutics, especially for the uninsured and uninsured.
Two key changes will lead to commercialization: the end of the US government’s public health emergency declaration and the depletion of federally purchased supplies. Each change creates its own challenges and, taken together, “may exacerbate access challenges,” the study says.
No change has occurred; the public health emergency declaration was renewed last week for another 90 days. But Congress has yet to comply with the Biden administration’s request for billions in additional funding to ensure a stable and affordable supply of measures against Covid-19.
A big part of the government’s request for more Covid-19 funding is a “critical request” for resources to support the development of new vaccines and treatments that can withstand future variants of the coronavirus, said Dawn O’Connell, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Within the US Department of Health and Human Services.
“This would take us out of the rise of the boom-bust cycle in cases,” he said in a news conference organized by KFF on Wednesday.
The goal is to avoid a situation like last winter, when there was a testing shortage due to a lack of predictability for the Delta variant, said Jen Kates, KFF’s deputy director and global health and HIV policy.
O’Connell said another portion of the funding would go toward protecting the uninsured and ensuring universal access to measures against Covid-19.
According to the KFF analysis, once the measures are commercialized, uninsured adults would lose access to free vaccines. But treatments and tests would have the most “acute” challenges, with cost sharing affecting how much of the cost would be covered by insurance.
The transition to commercialization was always part of the plan, O’Connell said. It is a way to treat other health conditions in the US.
“But the process is complex,” he said. “Regardless of whether or not we were going to get the Covid funding, we were going to eventually have to make this transition at some point. Part of the demand for Covid makes this a little less awkward.”