Pfizer’s chief financial officer has described the Covid pandemic as a “multi-billion dollar franchise” — and expects profits to continue.
David Denton told investors in an earnings call last week that his company’s vaccine and antivirals would be relevant for many years to come.
The CFO said he expects the Covid virus to be “somewhat like the flu…but more deadly” – meaning therapies will still play a huge role in controlling the virus.
To date, Pfizer has reaped approximately $80 billion in annual revenue from the sale of Covid vaccines and the antiviral drug Paxlovid.
The company announced last month that it will triple the price of its injection to $130 per dose next year — a far cry from the roughly $19 to $30 per dose the government paid.
Some experts estimate that each single shot costs just $1.18 to make — meaning the new price represents a 10,000 percent markup.
Analysts speculate that the move has been made so that Pfizer can still meet its $32 billion goal in vaccine revenues this year.
Critics say the decision shows the company’s greed. Peter Maybarduk, director of drug access at Public Citizen, told DailyMail.com that the company was already in a good financial position to take some loss.
Maybarduk also said the company has already made an “obscene” amount of money, and will be fine if they don’t live up to revenue projections that were likely blown up anyway.
Pfizer was an early winner during the pandemic as it became the first company to get a Covid-19 vaccine approved for the US market. Subsequent vaccine mandates for health professionals and the military further boosted vaccine sales.
The company expects total sales of $102 billion this year with the vaccine and its antiviral Paxlovid — more than double the company’s annual sales in 2019 ($40.9 billion) and 2020 ($41.7 billion).
Julia Kosgei, policy advisor to The People’s Vaccine Alliance said: “Experts have estimated that Pfizer’s vaccine costs just $1.18 per dose to make… asking $130 per dose would represent a gain of more than ten thousand percent. This is daylight robbery.’
“Governments should not stand by as companies like Pfizer hold the world to pay ransom in a global pandemic,” she added.
Contracts signed by the government to secure billions of doses of vaccines at no cost to Americans are soon to expire, shifting the cost of buying injections to health insurers.
Pfizer CFO David Denton told investors, “I think if you look at the longer term, the franchise will become a multi-billion dollar franchise in the sense that this will be somewhat like a flu, ongoing flu, but actually more deadly than the flu.” flu.
“I think the products, both from a vaccine and from the therapy perspective that Pfizer has developed, will be very relevant for many years to come,” he said.
Pfizer is charging $130 for its COVID-19 vaccine — a 10,000% markup from the estimated $1.18 it will cost them to develop a single dose of the vaccine. The company charged the US government about $20 per injection, but raised prices in an effort to make up for poor demand for the jabs. It is predicted to bring in more than $100 billion in revenue this year and $81.2 billion last year. These numbers clearly make the $40 billion a year it made the years before. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has earned $50 million in compensation over the past two years, while BioNTech found that Dr. Ugar Sahin is now a billionaire.
The mRNA vaccine, developed with Germany-based BioNTech, will soon become more expensive for those without health insurance, as government contracts that made the injections free to all Americans will expire
Pfizer has raised $100 billion in sales of Covid-19 vaccines and treatments to US and foreign governments. The vaccine alone generated global sales of more than $36 billion in 2021
Pfizer’s CFO praised the company’s high earnings and told investors that Covid will continue to collect billions of dollars for the company in the coming years as the virus becomes more like a seasonal flu.
Pfizer’s move to increase the cost of each Covid injection to the private health insurance market is unlikely to affect people with private insurance or those enrolled in the government’s Medicare and Medicaid health care programs. Health plans typically cover the cost of vaccines.
Pfizer’s New 80% Effective RSV Vaccine Gives Hope to Overloaded Children’s Hospitals
Pfizer has announced that its experimental RSV vaccine is highly effective – in a ray of hope for parents and doctors.
The pharmaceutical giant announced that its injection could reduce the risk of hospitalization in infants up to six months infected with the seasonal virus.
If approved, it would be the first vaccine against RSV, killing between 100 and 500 children under the age of five and hospitalizing about 58,000 annually.
That could be a lifeline for hospitals currently inundated with unusually high cases of the virus – which has been attributed to lockdowns that suppress children’s immunity.
The vaccine is given to pregnant women during the late second to third trimesters of their pregnancy. Vaccination during pregnancy allows the antibodies to travel into the placenta, protecting the fetus.
Pfizer’s trial involved 7,400 pregnant women in 18 countries who received either a dose of the experimental vaccine or a placebo.
Pfizer expects to complete its petition for Food and Drug Administration approval by the end of 2022, possibly giving a federal green light before the next respiratory infection season kicks off.
But people who pay out of pocket may be forced to pay more for a Covid shot than the cost of a flu shot, which can range in price from about $50 to $95.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told investors on Tuesday: “With regard to our COVID-19 products, although their sales may fall from our projected levels of approximately $55 billion in 2022, we believe our COVID-19 will continue to generate multi-billion dollar franchises for the foreseeable future to cushion any unforeseen challenges with other products in our portfolio.”
The federal government was able to foot the bill for vaccines for so long thanks to purchasing agreements with manufacturers.
The government has spent billions of dollars on vaccine purchases, but the doses in stock are declining with no prospects for replenishment.
The Biden administration will require action from Congress to draft a new contract with Pfizer for more vaccines.
In September, the White House petitioned Congress for an additional $22.4 billion in COVID-19 funding. Funds to buy and distribute shots could dry up as early as January 2021, and a Republican-controlled Congress is unlikely to replenish that treasury.
The GOP is expected to win big in this year’s midterm elections. The party leadership has been reviewing plans to investigate what they see as the Biden administration’s unexplained coronavirus spending.
Pfizer expects to get even richer, regardless of a new government contract, thanks to its many lucrative business acquisitions.
In October, it bought the drug company Biohaven, whose migraine drug Nurtec ODT grossed $324 million in the first half of 2022, for about $11.6 billion.
The company also expects the vaccines in development for the respiratory syncitial virus to be a big earner once it gets regulatory approval. The company is working on injections to help seniors who are at higher risk of contracting the disease, as well as pregnant women who, when they receive the injections, offer some protection to their babies in the womb.
Bourla said, “So there is the potential that, subject to regulatory approval, we could have the only maternal RSV vaccine on the market by late 2023, early 2024, along with an RSV vaccine for older adults.”
“Combined, the two indications represent potential sales in the billions of dollars if approved, especially as our highly respected frontline sales force makes these launches,” he added.