Comparing that list to calculations by Bernstein Research, an analysis and investment firm, it appears the 27-nation union has a 24 percent discount on the Pfizer vaccine compared to the United States, paying $14.76 per dose compared to $19.50 in the United States. Some of the difference may reflect that the E.U. subsidized that vaccine’s development and the cost of shipping the European-made vaccine across the Atlantic.
The bloc will pay 45 percent less than the United States for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine currently under development. But it will pay 20 percent more than the United States for the Moderna vaccine, which is expected to be approved for U.S. use on Friday. Both of those vaccines were funded partly by the U.S. government as part of Operation Warp Speed, an effort to expedite their development. The AstraZeneca-Oxford team received $1.2 billion, and Moderna got $4.1 billion.
As in the United States, European countries generally plan to make the vaccines free for their citizens.
The per-dose prices of the vaccines are lower than most brand-name drugs, but the hundreds of millions of doses required to vaccinate entire populations will drive up costs significantly for individual countries. Disparities between the higher prices in the United States and Europe in overall drug prices have long driven outrage in Congress.
Asked about the price differences between the United States and Europe, Pfizer noted that the European Union purchase, 200 million doses, was double that of the United States.
“Pfizer and BioNTech are using a tiered pricing formula based on volume and delivery dates,” Pfizer said in a statement. “The agreement with the European Commission for the supply of 200m doses, and an option to request an additional 100m, represents the largest initial order of our candidate vaccine to date.”
It said it would not disclose further details.
Operation Warp Speed said that it had negotiated extensively with each drug manufacturer.
“Based on the significantly varying levels of developmental funding, distribution costs, and other contract terms, we are confident we negotiated the best possible price for the American taxpayer,” the initiative said in a statement. It noted that the price of Pfizer’s vaccine included distribution across the United States and territories, including charter flights from manufacturing flights in Europe.
The E.U. list also underlines why policymakers are hoping AstraZeneca’s vaccine will be effective and will win approval — at $2.19 a dose, it is almost one-seventh the price of the Pfizer vaccine currently being administered in the United States and Britain. Most vaccines currently under development require two doses, although Johnson & Johnson’s — $10 in the United States and just a bit more in Europe — is a single shot.
The two vaccines that are…