Despite alarm around the spread of the Delta COVID variant, vaccine efficacy remains remarkably high. As a result, Moderna and Pfizer are increasing their prices per-jab across Europe.
Why? “Usual pharma rhetoric,” according to an EU public health official who spoke to the Financial Times. The logic follows: more arms poked and more positive data means vaccines are worth more.
The European Union has stumbled through its collective vaccine rollout effort amid supply chain disruptions, concerns over side effects, and competing interests between various nations within its ranks.
Recent trial data has put Pfizer and Moderna’s increased efficacy rates on display compared to the lower-priced Oxford/AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs. That led Pfizer and Moderna back to the negotiating table with the EU armed with some fresh leverage. Per the Financial Times, the deal terms are nearly finalized, with the two pharma firms already tweaking their yearly revenue forecasts:
- The price of one Pfizer shot has increased from roughly $18.40 per dose to $23.15, and Moderna shots have increased from about $22.60 per dose to $25.50.
- Pfizer, in turn, raised its guidance for annual vaccine revenue to $33.5 billion, a roughly 33% increase. Overall, life sciences consultancy firm Airfinity predicts Moderna will notch $30 billion in vaccine sales, while Pfizer’s jab revenues could reach $56 billion.
Two-Tiered System: Moderna and Pfizer have become the jab-du-jour among higher-income countries, where the companies charge a premium. Middle-income countries pay roughly half per jab compared to higher-earning countries, while vaccines are priced at cost in lower-income countries. Oxford/AstraZeneca, meanwhile, has held a uniform at-cost price for its jabs and has become the leading vaccine supplier to lower-income countries.