Pfizer Execs Discuss Hiking Vaccine Price After Pandemic Wanes

Pfizer execs discuss hiking vaccine price after pandemic wanes

By Audrey McNamara – CBS NEWS March 17, 2021


A top executive for Pfizer suggested to investors last week that pricing for its COVID-19 vaccine could increase post-pandemic. The suggestion raises questions about whether a drug, developed at the behest of the federal government to respond to a global crisis, could turn a profit for one company.

The possibility was raised by Carter Lewis Gould, a senior analyst for Biopharma Equity Research at Barclays, during a virtual global healthcare conference hosted by the bank. Gould, referencing comments made by Pfizer executives over the summer, asked how the pharmaceutical company still envisioned pursuing “higher pricing” as “we move from a pandemic to an endemic phase,” according to an edited transcript of the conversation.

“Clearly got a lot of focus on the street. And in particular, some of your comments around the potential for higher pricing,” Gould said of Pfizer’s summer suggestion. “I think one of the things that people point to is both the optics of that as well as some of their experience with the flu market. Now this is absolutely different. But I was hoping you could maybe give us a little bit more depth on your thoughts here and around the potential to pursue higher pricing down the road?”

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For the warning from Cambridge University Centre for the Study Existential Risks (CSER), they reported as follows:

Error or terror: Bad bugs or bad people

New breakthroughs like the targeted genome editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 are increasing our capabilities; and the cost of DNA sequencing/synthesis and the hurdle of expertise are rapidly decreasing. This growing biotechnological knowledge and capability will have many benefits – new and better drugs, improvements to agricultural productivity and environmental protection. But it is a dual-use technology, and so can also be misused in ways that cause harm.

An engineered pandemic could escape from a lab, or it could be deliberately used as a weapon. During the 20th century several countries had state-run bioweapons programmes, and we know of several non-state groups that have attempted to acquire bioweapons.

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