List Price for COVID Drug Draws Fire as Pfizer Hopes to Woo Payers

Almost two years after Paxlovid received emergency authorization as a treatment for acute COVID-19 infection, Pfizer Inc. and the U.S. government are now in the throes of transitioning the drug to the commercial market. That means the drugmaker is, in its own words, “working diligently with payers to achieve the best possible formulary placement” for Paxlovid — but also raising some eyebrows with the list price it set for the antiviral therapy.

Pfizer said in a statement that the commercial list price for Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir) in the U.S. will be $1,390 per five-day treatment course. That’s more than twice what the U.S. government paid for the drug, $529 per five-day course, and significantly higher than the price range of $563-$906 that the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) suggested would be most cost effective.

© 2024 MMIT
Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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