Tuesday

28th Sep 2021

Report: Pfizer and Moderna raise vaccine prices for EU

  • The price of the Pfizer vaccine went from €15.50 to €19.50 (Photo: Arne Müseler)

US drugmaker Pfizer and Moderna have raised the price of their vaccines against Covid-19 in their latest supply contracts with the European Union, the Financial Times reported on Sunday (1 August).

The terms of the agreements for the supply of 2.1 billion jabs (to be delivered until 2023) were renegotiated after clinical studies showed that the new mRNA vaccine technology developed by these two companies delivered higher protection rates than other shots, such as those manufactured by Oxford/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

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The price of a Pfizer vaccine, which shares gross profits with BioNTech, went up from €15.50 to €19.50, according to parts of the contracts seen by the Financial Times.

For its part, the price of the Moderna shot raised from €19, specified in the first procurement deal, to €21.50 ($25.50).

Nevertheless, that price was lower than the €24 per dose ($28.50) agreed previously because the order had increased, the newspaper explains.

The pharmaceutical giants are expected to see their annual vaccine revenues increase this year as countries increase their orders, to administer third doses of the vaccine next winter.

Projections from consultant firms in the sector suggest Pfizer's vaccine revenues will hit €47bn while Moderna's will reach €25bn, as they dominate vaccine portfolios of high-income countries.

Meanwhile, analysts are forecasting sales of €12.64bn of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab next year. AstraZeneca is the major vaccine supplier to low-income countries.

EU contracts with the US drugmakers were signed amid tensions and criticism over the slow vaccine rollout in the 27-nation bloc, driven by delays in the delivery of the AstraZeneca jab and investigations over blood clots after the administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Officials said the European Commission and the 27 member states agreed to pay a higher price to secure proved supplies of mRNA vaccines, the newspaper notes.

Nevertheless, the report adds that the new price of the Pfizer vaccine was the same as that agreed earlier in March for the accelerated delivery of 10 million doses.

"We need to focus on technologies that have proven their worth," the president of the EU executive, Ursula von der Leyen, said earlier in April when Brussels announced that it had entered negotiations to buy 1.8 billion extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

So far, Brussels has secured up to 4.4 billion doses from six different vaccine makers - although two jabs are yet to be approved.

Last week, the commission said that the EU is on track to reach its target of fully vaccinating at least 70 percent of the adult population by September.

EU hits vaccination target, as Delta variant now dominates

The European Union has vaccinated 70 percent of its adult population with one shot. "The EU has kept its word and delivered," said EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen. However, only 57 percent of adult Europeans are fully-vaccinated.

Three-quarters of EU citizens support vaccines, survey finds

When asked how the EU handled the vaccination strategy among different institutions, respondents in Malta and Portugal tend to be most satisfied, while in France and Germany respondents are the least satisfied with the EU.

Opinion

If EU blocks vaccine waivers, it can drop 'solidarity' talk

Workers such as United Nurses Association of India are furious that the EU is undermining their best efforts and exacerbating the crisis by continuing to put big-pharma profits ahead of Covid vaccine patent-waivers. Is this what solidarity looks like?

Investigation

EU negotiators defend high Covid vaccine prices paid to pharma

In September 2020, the EU Commission's top vaccine negotiator made a pledge - doses would cost between €5 and €15, Sandra Gallina assured MEPs. Little did she know that her fixed cap would crumble under pressure from jabmakers.

EU medicines agency: booster shots not urgent

The European Medicines Agency said that there is no urgent need to administer booster shots to the general population, pointing out that the priority now should be to vaccinate the one-third of Europeans who are not fully vaccinated.

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