Mar 8, 2021

Big Pharma CEO Says Price Should Never Be a Barrier After CFO Promised Company Would “Get More on Price” After “Pandemic Pricing Environment”

In a recent interview with “Axios on HBO,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla expressed concern about the affordability of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. “It will be terrible for society if price becomes an obstacle,” Bourla told Axios reporter Caitlin Owens. “I think we should never [have] a situation like that, particularly for a vaccine.” Bourla’s comments are similar to ones he made earlier this year, where he suggested setting high prices on a COVID-19 vaccine would be “unethical” and promised the company would not take advantage of the pandemic.

Bourla’s comments, however, stand in stark contrast to ones made by Pfizer’s CFO, Frank D’Amelio, on an earnings call just last month. FiercePharma reported that D’Amelio told investors Pfizer was “obviously… going to get more on price” on its COVID-19 vaccine after the current “pandemic pricing environment.” If that wasn’t a clear enough commitment to investors that the company intended to hike prices on its vaccine, D’Amelio also said there would be “significant opportunity” to boost margins on the vaccine “once we get beyond the pandemic environment that we’re in.”

Pfizer’s Jekyll and Hyde comments on vaccine pricing come as the company continues to hike prices on other products in the company’s portfolio. The Big Pharma giant has already hiked prices more than 130 times in the first few months of 2021.

American Voters Overwhelmingly Agree COVID-19 Vaccines & Treatments Must Be Priced Affordably

A recent national survey, commissioned by CSRxP and conducted by Morning Consult found American voters overwhelmingly agree policymakers must ensure COVID-19 vaccines and treatments are responsibly and affordably priced.

  •  87 Percent: An overwhelming 87 percent majority of voters agree policymakers must ensure patients can access COVID-19 medications at an affordable price and prevent pharmaceutical companies from setting unreasonably high prices and increasing those prices to boost profits. This includes more than two-thirds of American voters who “strongly agree.”

Read more on Pfizer’s pledge to investors to hike COVID-19 vaccine prices HERE.

Read more on Pfizer’s fourth quarter earnings and pandemic price hikes HERE.

Learn more about market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower prescription drug prices HERE.