Pfizer (NYSE:) plans to price a course of its COVID-19 drug, Paxlovid, at nearly $1,400 when commercial sales commence later this year, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This pricing is more than double what the U.S. government paid for the drug, which was $529.
Pharmacies and clinics that will dispense Paxlovid were informed of the pricing in a letter dated Wednesday. The list price for a five-day course of the antiviral medication will be $1,390.
It’s worth noting that health plans are likely to negotiate lower prices than the list price for the drug. Furthermore, most patients are expected to have a small or no out-of-pocket cost for Paxlovid, as Pfizer is anticipated to offer price discounts and assistance with patients’ out-of-pocket charges.
This move by Pfizer has faced criticism from healthcare professionals and patient advocates, who argue that higher pricing may limit patient access to the drug. The disclosure of the list price is expected to further intensify the debate around drug pricing and access.
“Pricing for Paxlovid is based on the value it provides to patients, providers, and health care systems due to its important role in helping reduce Covid 19-related hospitalizations and deaths,” a Pfizer spokeswoman told WSJ.
The report comes after Pfizer significantly reduced its sales forecast for this year by $9 billion, revising it to a range of between $58 billion and $61 billion. The primary reason for this downward revision is a decline in the usage of Paxlovid, one of the company’s Covid-19 drugs.
Pfizer stock is down 38.4% year-to-date based on Wednesday’s close.