Saturday, October 16

Covid-19: Pfizer and Moderna increase the price of vaccines for the European Union | Society

A vial of Moderna's vaccine against covid-19.
A vial of Moderna’s vaccine against covid-19.LUONG THAI LINH / EFE

The prices of vaccines against covid-19 have risen up to 25% in the second round of reserve contracts signed by the European Commission. The doses prepared by the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech have gone from 15 euros to 19.50, while those of Moderna, from 19 to 21 euros. Both products use messenger RNA technology, which has been established in the European Union as the main reference against other vaccines, such as AstraZeneca’s (which is sold at cost, about two euros, but already ruled out for the future for Brussels) or Janssen (8.4 euros). The increase coincides with the debate on the need or not to inject booster doses to people who have completed the vaccination schedule during this year’s campaign.

The new price of the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine had transpired last April, shortly before the Commission closed an agreement with both companies for the acquisition of 1.8 billion doses between 2021 and 2023. The invoice of 19.50 euros per dose has been corroborated this Sunday by the British newspaper Financial Times, which claims to have had access to parts of the contract between the Commission and the two pharmaceutical companies. The increase represents 25% in relation to the first contracts, which led to the acquisition of 700 million doses.

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The same newspaper assures that Moderna has also raised its prices by almost 10%, but the supply to the EU of that American company is much lower than that of the German BioNTech and the American Pfizer. In a first contract with Moderna, Brussels reserved 160 million doses. And another 300 million in a second contract, with delivery scheduled until 2022.

The distribution of vaccines in the EU already allows covering 70% of the adult population, as confirmed in July by the European Commission. So far, more than 530 million doses have been distributed across the EU, of which 369 million are from Comirnaty, the BioNTech / Pfizer brand. Far behind is AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria, with 87 million. And Moderna’s, Spikevax, with 57 million. 19 million have come from Janssen. The next campaigns, as indicated by the Commission, will be based mainly on messenger RNA technology and with stricter delivery terms and conditions, which places BioNTech / Pfizer as the EU’s priority supplier.

Pfizer, which shares revenues from the vaccine 50% with BioNTech, last Wednesday revised its billing expectations in 2021 for its product against covid. The pharmaceutical company expects to enter more than 28,000 million euros compared to the 22,000 million previously planned. The increase, according to the company, is due to contracts signed between mid-April and mid-July, the period in which the European Commission (dated May 20) was signed.

BioNTech, which will present its second quarter results on August 9, has already multiplied its revenues by 73 during the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous year. “The increase was mainly due to the rapid increase in the supply of covid-19 vaccines worldwide,” said the German pharmaceutical company.

According to the latest report from the Ministry of Health, Spain has so far received 39.4 million doses from Pfizer and 6.1 million doses from Moderna, in addition to 10.3 million doses from AstraZeneca and 2.4 million from Janssen (this last only requires one dose).

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