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Pfizer, Moderna set to make $51b in COVID-19 vaccine sales

By Chukwuma Muanya
17 March 2022   |   3:53 am
•Non-profit company to produce generic insulin that will be sold for $30 per vial as discussions of price-caps for lifesaving drug is sparked after State of the Union address Pfizer and Moderna, manufacturers of the two most popular used vaccines in the United States and much of the rest of the world, are expecting to…

•Non-profit company to produce generic insulin that will be sold for $30 per vial as discussions of price-caps for lifesaving drug is sparked after State of the Union address

Pfizer and Moderna, manufacturers of the two most popular used vaccines in the United States and much of the rest of the world, are expecting to bring in $51 billion in vaccine sales this year, according to earnings statements published by the companies.

Pfizer expects to lead the way, with $32 billion in expected sales, with Moderna projecting $19 billion in revenue from its COVID-19 shots.

Almost all of these sales are coming from the developed world, with major nations like the United States (U.S.), the United Kingdom (UK), Germany and others having surplus of vaccines, while many developing countries struggling to get their hands on the shots.

The wide disparity between the developing and developed world has been noted by organisations like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the People’s Vaccine Alliance (PVA) who are continuing calls for the companies to make their shots more widely available in the developing world.

Pfizer’s shot has been administered 326 million times to fully vaccinate 123 million Americans and boost 52 million others, according to data from the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC also reports that Moderna’s shot has been administered 208 million times to fully vaccinate 41 million people.

Both companies have big plans for 2022, with more vaccine products on the way and foresee a financial windfall ahead with some experts saying yearly booster shots may be needed for upwards of a decade to control COVID-19 long-term.

Moderna and Pfizer, which partners with the German company BioNTech for the development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines and splits profits with, both have Omicron-specific vaccine expected to become available in the coming weeks.

Moderna Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Stephane Bancel, said in February that his company believes another COVID-19 booster shot will also be needed come fall, which should only add to the company’s revenue projections going forward.

“We believe there’s a high probability that we’re moving into an endemic setting,” Bancel told CNBC’s Squawk Box in February.

“We should still be cautious because as we’ve seen with Delta, which came after alpha and was more virulent, [it] is always possible to get the more virulent variant of course.”

An endemic would mean humans could live alongside the virus with no disruptions to regular life. Like the flu, it will also require yearly booster shots, which would likely be produced by Pfizer and Moderna.

Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, has said he believes regular, yearly, boosters will be necessary for at least the next 10 years.

While the pharmaceutical company’s vaccine rollouts have certainly been profitable, and the effectiveness of the vaccines has likely saved millions of lives worldwide, the way they have conducted business during the pandemic has not gone without critics.

Meanwhile, non-profit company to produce generic insulin that will be sold for $30 per vial as discussions of price-caps for lifesaving drug is sparked after State of the Union address.

Civica Rx, an Utah based company, will soon sell a generic version of insulin for $30 a vial. The product is targeted at uninsured Americans who could have to pay hundreds out of pockets for the diabetes medication.

Insulin prices have become a hot-button issue for Democrats and Republicans in recent years, with bipartisan support for making it more affordable.

The price of insulin in America has been a hot-button issue in America for years, and with discussions about potential price caps on the drug being put into the spotlight by President Joe Biden this week, a non-profit company is hoping to fill the need for affordable insulin in the country.

Civica Rx, a non-profit organisation from Lehi, Utah, announced Thursday that it would manufacture and sell generic insulin for $30 per vial.

The drug, which many diabetics require just to stay alive, has become the posterchild of the discussion surrounding rising drug prices in America. A vial of the drug, which a diabetic may need two or three of every month, can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 a month, with the price having rapidly increased in recent years. The recent price increases have opened a conversation around capping prices, with multiple states passing bills in recent years that would limit out of pocket costs for insured Americas.

President Joe Biden has been a proponent of a federal $35 a month cap on insulin prices, and noted the high prices Americans face during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, Americans pay ten times more per vial of insulin that residents of peer developed nations.

The high prices have been blamed for many preventable deaths, and for some Americans taking part in the dangerous practice of ‘insulin rationing’, where a person will take smaller doses than they need every day – or even skip some days – in an effort to make each vial last longer.

“It is just preposterous — beyond preposterous — that Americans with diabetes sometimes pay more than $600 just for a 40-day supply of insulin,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, also a Democrat, said earlier this year.

The generic insulin manufactured by Civica will have a sticker price of $30, making it more accessible to the uninsured who may not be considered by price caps.

“Diabetes is arguably America’s most expensive chronic condition, and it is heartbreaking that millions of people are rationing their care and putting their lives at risk because they can no longer afford insulin,” said Dan Liljenquist, Chair of Civica, said in a statement.

“Through mission-driven partnerships, we are choosing to create a new market reality where no one is forced to ration essential diabetes medications.”

The company will produce three different insulin products; all with the recommended price of $30 a vial.