COVID Vaccine sales collapse as Pfizer cuts costs

Health | August 2, 2023, Wednesday // 09:46|  views

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Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer said it plans a cost-cutting operation if its co-developed with BioTech COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral treatment for the coronavirus continue to underperform in the coming months due to falling demand.

According to the American company, more clarity on the future size of the COVID market will be available in the fall, when infection rates rise, Reuters reports.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said this fall's COVID-19 vaccination rates should be a good predictor of what annual rates will look like going forward, such as if the company is able to launch a combination vaccine for coronavirus and flu or respiratory syncytial virus "this will increase vaccination rates".

If vaccinations against COVID are very low this year, the company will reduce its investment in virus research and development, including for combination vaccines, as part of its spending plan, Burla said.

Shares of Pfizer fell about 0.7% on Tuesday after the semi-annual results were announced. Shares of rival vaccine makers Moderna and Novavax, which rely much more heavily on their COVID-19 vaccines to drive revenue, fell 2.9% and 5.2%, respectively.

Sales of Pfizer/Biontech's Cominarti COVID-19 vaccine fell 83% to $1.49 billion in the second quarter, but beat analysts' estimates of $1.40 billion.

Sales of an antiviral treatment, Paxlovid, plunged 98% to $143 million, below estimates of $1.08 billion amid low global infection rates, Reuters reported.

Due to weak sales of its COVID-19 products, Pfizer cut its 2023 revenue expectations by $1 billion to $70 billion. Sales of the respiratory syncytial virus vaccine, which is not yet approved for all intended age groups, and the new cancer drug Talzenna have also been disappointing so far.

The company's total revenue for the second quarter fell 54% to $12.73 billion, missing analysts' estimates of $13.27 billion.

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Tags: covid, vaccines, Pfizer


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