Pfizer offers Covid-19 vaccine to government at ‘not-for-profit’ price

MUMBAI: US drug major Pfizer said it will offer its Covid-19 vaccine at a ‘not-for-profit’ price for the government’s immunization program.
The company said it ‘continues to be in discussions’ with the government, and remains “committed” to make the vaccine available for deployment in the country’s vaccination program.
The company is yet to reapply to the government for emergency authorisation for its vaccine, after withdrawing its application in February.
Recently, the government has decided to fast track approvals for foreign-produced Covid-19 vaccines authorised by major global regulators, by doing away with bridging trial studies prior to regulatory approval.
Vaccines approved by Western regulators including the USFDA, UK’s MHRA and WHO will be granted emergency authorisation here, with the company now conducting post-approval parallel bridging studies in place of local clinical trials.
The company did not provide specific details about the pricing for India.
A company spokesperson said, “In all our agreements Pfizer has adopted a distinct pricing structure for high, middle, and low/lower-middle-income countries consistent with our commitment to work towards equitable and affordable access for our Covid-19 vaccine for people around the world.”
During the current pandemic, Pfizer says its priority would be to exclusively support governments through supply of its vaccine only to governments for their immunization programs. “This would be our approach in India as well,” the statement said.
The company did not respond to a query on whether it will enter into agreements with hospitals, keen to import the vaccine.
Media reports say Pfizer has priced the messengerRNA vaccine around $10 in South Africa. Globally, as per contracts, the minimum price for the vaccine is $6.75 per dose, while the maximum is understood to be $23.50 per dose, according to the Global Health Centre. It costs about $20 (around Rs 1,500) per jab in the US.
“Pricing-information and terms and conditions of the agreement (eg, timelines for delivery, liability arrangements) are not available for the vast majority of confirmed vaccine purchases. Not all agreements are being publicly reported in a timely fashion, and of those that are reported, they often lack basic information, such as the total number of vaccines being provided and their prices. This lack of transparency makes it challenging to draw firm conclusions about global access to Covid-19 vaccines,” the Global Health Centre says.