Sen. Elizabeth Warren raises concerns over Pfizer’s COVID vaccine price hike

Syringes containing the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine sit in a tray in a vaccination room at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

WASHINGTON (WLNE) — Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen.-elect Peter Welch sent a letter to Pfizer’s CEO, criticizing their plans to dramatically increase the price of their COVID-19 vaccine for the coming year.

The senators argue that the price hike would “make it more difficult for millions of Americans to afford the vaccine.”

“Pfizer is already raking in billions in profits through the sales of their COVID-19 vaccines,” said Warren in a release Tuesday. “Everyone deserves easy and affordable access to these lifesaving vaccines and I’m urging Pfizer to reverse this planned price hike and put public health ahead of corporate greed.”

“Here we go again. Throughout the pandemic, Pfizer promised to put public health before their bottom line. But not anymore. Pfizer’s planned price hike would break that promise and once again put a lifesaving medication out-of-reach for many Americans,” added Welch.

While “Pfizer has pointed to its Patient Assistance Programs to help cover the cost of the drug for those without insurance,” the lawmakers said that “it is unclear how these will work or whether they will actually close the cost gap for the uninsured Americans who cannot afford the life-saving vaccine.”

Last month, according to the senators, Pfizer said it planned to quadruple the cost of its COVID-19 vaccine increasing it to $130 per dose, adding that with this planned price hike, the pharmaceutical giant will earn an additional $2.5 to $3 billion in annual revenue.

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