Efforts underway to make vaccine affordable to all
New Delhi: Global pharma major Pfizer has said its Covid-19 vaccine is being priced in a way that will help governments to ensure that there is little to no out-of-pocket costs for their people, as it seeks to ensure access to the vaccine across the world.
For this pandemic period, the company's pricing approach is based on the principle of ensuring broad access and supplies to the governments, a Pfizer spokesperson said in a statement. The company's decision-making is not being driven by traditional cost/benefit analysis, it added.
"Our pricing strategy is an outcome of volume, advanced commitment, equity and affordability principles. We are pricing in a way that can help governments to ensure that there is little to no out-of-pocket costs for their populations.
"We remain committed to engaging with the Government of India and explore opportunities to make this vaccine available for use in the country," the statement said. The company's Indian arm has sought emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 in the country from the drug regulator. The company also said governments globally are developing comprehensive and strategic pandemic response plans.
At this time, it is most appropriate that any vaccine that receives regulatory approval is made available to governments for use as per their plan. "Therefore, at this stage, our priority is to ensure the availability of this vaccine for use by Governments across the world.
During this pandemic phase, Pfizer will supply this vaccine only through government contracts based on agreements with respective government authorities and following regulatory authorisation or approval," the statement said. Earlier this month, Pfizer Inc Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said at a virtual press conference organised by International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) that "the fundamental that went into the pricing was that we make sure we make it very quickly available to everyone".
"We are having a tier pricing. It is one price for the developed world based on their GDP, another price, lower for the middle-income countries and in the low-income countries, like countries in Africa etc, we are giving it on a not-on-profit base," he added. Even in developed countries, the price is what they can afford to pay. In the US the price is $19.50, the price of an average meal, Bourla had said.