Pfizer eyes 'significant opportunity' to up COVID-19 vaccine costs

A shift from pandemic to an endemic state could normalize market forces, a Pfizer executive said

A top executive at Pfizer has noted a “significant opportunity” for higher pricing of its COVID-19 vaccine when pandemic-driven market forces enter a gradual shift.

“If you look at how current demand and current pricing is being driven, it's clearly not being driven by what I'll call normal market conditions, normal market forces,” Frank D'Amelio, Pfizer CFO, said during a call. “It's really been driven by kind of the pandemic state that we've been in and the needs of governments to really secure doses from the various vaccine suppliers.”

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D'Amelio said as the pandemic shifts into a so-called "endemic" state, or when sweeping vaccinations restrict recurrent disease to certain pockets around the world, “normal market conditions will start to kick in."

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“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,” he continued, adding in part, “We think as this shifts from pandemic to endemic we think there's an opportunity here for us.”

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The comments follow news of the company launching a study to assess whether a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine could boost efficacy against concerning coronavirus variants, like one first detected in South Africa. During the call, D'Amelio also noted a growing likelihood of one-shot annual revaccinations.