Pfizer will charge health insurers as much as $1,390 for a five-day course of its Covid-19 treatment Paxlovid, the company told multiple news outlets, a price that comes as the drug’s distribution changes hands from the federal government to Pfizer’s commercial business—and as Pfizer predicts lower revenue from its coronavirus products.
The $1,390 listing price, which will become active once sales to health insurers begin next year, is more than double what the federal government paid for Paxlovid during the height of the pandemic, which Pfizer has framed as a bulk discount.
Patients will likely have lower out-of-pocket costs than the drug’s sticker price, and many health insurance plans could pay much less than $1,390 after negotiating discounts, CNBC and the Wall Street Journal noted.
Uninsured patients and people on Medicare and Medicaid will maintain free access to Paxlovid from the Department of Health and Human Services through the end of 2024.
What To Watch For
Pfizer will offer a patient assistance program for uninsured people with HHS-procured Paxlovid from 2025 to 2028, HHS said last week. Pfizer will also run a copay assistance program for patients with commercial insurance through 2028.
Paxlovid was approved by the FDA in late 2021 before being purchased and distributed by the federal government for free. The drug was a key part of the coronavirus pandemic response, as studies showed Paxlovid slashed death rates for high-risk people with Covid-19. But Pfizer is projecting a drop in Covid product sales, partly due to lower-than-expected vaccination rates and Paxlovid utilization rates. The company announced last week it expects full-year revenues for its Covid-19 vaccine and Paxlovid to be around $12.5 billion—$9 billion lower than initial expectations. To counteract the drop, Pfizer is implementing a cost-cutting program it expects will save $3.5 billion. The company’s one-time costs to launch the program include severance and implementation costs and are expected to total about $3 billion.
Pfizer Prices Covid Drug Paxlovid at $1,400 for a Five-Day Course (Wall Street Journal)
Pfizer Launches $3.5 Billion Cost-Cutting Program Amid Declining Covid Vaccine Sales (Forbes)