Pfizer raises the cost of the COVID vaccine to 10,000 percent of its production cost

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We’re not surprised, just really disappointed. Reuters reports that next year, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer plans to almost quadruple the price per dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, raising costs from $20 to $30 per injection to $110 to $130.

Particularly surprising: Experts, for Reutersestimates that at that price, the vaccine costs 10,000 times what it costs Pfizer to actually do.

The People’s Vaccine Alliance, an international group committed to ensuring access to vaccines, has reportedly condemned the price increase as “daylight robbery.” Of course, for Pfizer, the price hike would be an incredibly lucrative move. Like other American pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer is first and foremost a business. As once-overwhelming demand for COVID vaccines continues to decline, this is one way Pfizer can maintain previous vaccine revenue and then some, said Mohit Bansal, an analyst at Wells Fargo. Reuters that the proposed increase would likely raise between $2.5 and $3 billion.

So good news for Pfizer. But bad news for those who, you know, need to get vaccinated, want others to get vaccinated, or need to make vaccines affordable. And sadly for this latter group, experts woefully expect other vaccine providers to do the same.

“We expect Moderna to adapt to this signal,” SVB Securities analyst David Risinger said in a research note, according to Reuters. He reportedly added that he hopes Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax will all “[price] in a similar range for the foreseeable future.

modern declined by Reuters request for comment, but has previously suggested putting its trading price between $64 and $100 per shot.

It’s worth noting that compared to the average annual cost of flu shots, Pfizer’s proposed vaccine prices are far from normal. What Reuters notes, the U.S. government pays $20 to $30 per standard flu dose, and maybe up to $70 for higher doses. And on that note, it’s infuriating to consider where else the government billions likely soon to be pocketed by Pfizer might go.

Are the prices proposed by Pfizer sociopathic? Upset? Amazing? Of course. But for better or, in this case, almost certainly for worse, this is American health care, and it looks like vaccine makers might be fresh out of pandemic goodwill.

Learn more about Pfizer’s dollar sign eyes: Pharmaceutical executives scheming over how to make more money from the COVID vaccine

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