Race to a COVID-19 Vaccine

March 24, 2020

A couple weeks ago, Russia announced approval of their COVID-19 vaccine “Sputnik-V” which sparked controversy amongst the scientific community and escalated public interest in COVID-19 vaccine news. With so much we don’t know about this Russian vaccine, here’s what we do know about potential COVID-19 vaccines:

There are over 200 vaccine candidates under investigation for COVID-19 with over 24 in clinical trials. Vaccine development timelines have been drastically reduced from 10 years to 12-18 months. For development reference: The vaccine for Ebola, Evrebo, took over 5 years to reach FDA approval.

The race to a COVID-19 vaccine has developed into somewhat of a “Clinical Arms Race” with several major players striving to bring a viable vaccine to markets as soon as Q4 2020:

Pfizer’s BNT162: Expected US Market Launch: October 2020

Oxford/AstraZeneca’s AZD1222: Expected US market launch: October 2020

Moderna’s MRNA1273: Expected US market launch: Q4 2020

Johnson & Johnson’s Ad26.COV2.S: Expected US Market launch: Q1—Q2 2021

Similarly to how the influenza and pneumococcal vaccines are considered preventive under the Affordable Care Act, Truveris anticipates that plans who need to comply to Health Care Reform will be required to be covered the COVID-19 vaccine at $0 to their members. Here is what pharma has said about pricing so far:

Pfizer set the bar with a $19.50 price per dose for their vaccine which will likely require two doses totaling                                                           $39 per patient to achieve full immunization status.

Moderna has been rumored to seek a $25-$30 price per dose also requiring two doses coming out to $50 per patient.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is projected to cost around $5 per patient based on financial analysis

Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is projected to only require a single dose and cost around $10 per patient

While it’s difficult to predict which of these vaccines will reach market first it’s important to maintain perspective: the average cost of a typical flu vaccine is up to $50 and about 63% of the US population gets vaccinated each year. This is similar to a recent poll which showed 65% of Americans were willing to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Truveris is closely monitoring the development and price of vaccine candidates. We are incorporating variables such as type of vaccine, # of doses, historical pricing trends, market trends etc. Our technology can help model the potential costs to your organization so that you can proactively budget for any sharp increases in spend while ensuring that you provide your members the best experience possible. 



Mark Head Shot-1

Posted By: Mark Catanzaro, Account Manager, Truveris 

Mark is a healthcare professional, whose passion for enabling healthcare stakeholders is driving him to demystify the world of Pharmacy Benefits. He has developed a multifaceted view of the healthcare industry through experience working for various Insurance Companies, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Pharmacy Software companies. As an Account Manager at Truveris, Mark is responsible for building and nurturing long-term, trusting relationships with Truveris clients and overseeing a portfolio of clients primarily in the Midwest and on the East Coast.








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