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COVID-19 Vaccine Should Be Priced Similar To Flu Shot, Says Ex-FDA Commissioner

COVID-19 Vaccine Should Be Priced Similar To Flu Shot, Says Ex-FDA Commissioner

Therapeutic companies working on a COVID-19 vaccine could earn a profit on their product if it's priced similarly to a standard flu vaccine, former FDA commissioner and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) board member Dr. Scott Gottlieb said on CNBC's "Squawk Box."

What Happened: It's important to note that vaccines generally aren't a high-margin product to begin with, as opposed to small molecule drugs, Gottlieb said. A COVID-19 vaccine that is priced similarly to a flu vaccine will afford a company "a sufficient margin and some profit" that can be invested back in the manufacturing process for future vaccines, he said. 

Producing a vaccine at a large scale is a profitable venture, Gottlieb said, adding that some may overlook the fact it requires continuous investments and innovation.

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Why It's Important: Behind the scenes, a vaccine is the end result of the work of more than 10,000 workers, as is the case with Sanofi SA (NASDAQ: SNY), Gottlieb said.

"It's a business that requires a lot of manpower, a lot of large scale manufacturing," he said. "So you want the companies to have some kind of margin, a reasonable margin, to put back into innovations and manufacturing."

What's Next: Even when a vaccine comes to market it is unlikely to be a "one and done" solution, Gottblieb said.

Vaccines will need to be changed perhaps on an annual basis moving forward, the former FDA commissioner said. 

Related Links:

GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Ink Deal With UK To Supply Up To 60M Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine

Pfizer To Charge $39 Per Coronavirus Vaccine Course To All Developed Countries For Similar Volume Commitments As US



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