Watchdog to Pfizer: Don’t Charge Taxpayers For Extra COVID Vaccine Doses You Can’t Guarantee
Washington, DC – Today, watchdog and patient advocacy group Accountable Pharma reacted to reports that the FDA agreed to demands from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer that an extra sixth dose of their coronavirus vaccine be counted in every vial towards its 200 million dose contract with the U.S. – despite the fact many pharmacists do not have the necessary specialty “low dead space” syringes needed to reliably harvest the sixth dose. Accountable Pharma called on Pfizer not to engage in needless profiteering off of the backs of taxpayers especially when they cannot guarantee extra doses will make it to patients.
The company reportedly received $19.50 per dose in their original 100 dose contract, which was doubled in December, meaning they will receive $3.9B total. Pfizer was originally receiving $97.50 for 5 doses per vial – and now stands to receive $117 per vial by counting an extra dose that may or may not be extractable. According to Reuters: “The world’s largest syringe maker does not have the capacity to substantially increase U.S. supplies of specialty syringes needed to squeeze more doses from Pfizer Inc COVID-19 vaccine vials in the coming weeks.”
“Until the supply of specialized syringes meets that of Pfizer vials, the company should not be squeezing extra profits out of taxpayers on top of the billions they’re already sitting on – especially after all the investments taxpayers already made to make the vaccine possible in the first place,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Accountable Pharma. “Taxpayers should actually get what they pay for, and Pfizer clearly cannot guarantee that now based on front line accounts from pharmacists – risking charges for wasted doses across the country. This is just the latest case of shameless drug company profiteering highlighting the clear need for reform.”
In September, Accountable Pharma released a report revealing that top executives and directors at five top drug companies including Pfizer receiving billions of taxpayer dollars through Operation Warp Speed have made more than $145 million cashing out their stock options between the launch of Operation Warp Speed on May 15th and the end of August 2020. Pfizer’s CEO and EVP dumped 176,000 shares in the company at a net profit of $7.4M as stock prices surged the same day it announced positive initial trial results on its COVID vaccine candidate.