UNITED STATES NEWS

COVID-19 treatments to enter the market with a hefty price tag

Oct 27, 2023, 12:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The COVID-19 treatments millions of Americans have taken for free from the federal government will enter the private market next week with a hefty price tag.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is setting the price for a five-day treatment of Paxlovid at $1,390, but Americans can still access the pills at no cost — for now. The less commonly used COVID-19 treatment Lagevrio, manufactured by Merck, also will hit the market next week.

Millions of free, taxpayer-funded courses of the pills will remain at pharmacies, hospitals and doctor’s offices across the country, U.S. Health and Human Services officials said Friday. People on private insurance may start to notice copays for the treatments once their pharmacy or doctor’s office runs out of the COVID-19 treatments they received from the government.

The U.S. government initially inked a deal with Pfizer to pay more than $5 billion for 10 million courses of Paxlovid in 2021.

Under a new agreement, reached last month between Pfizer and the federal government, people on Medicaid, Medicare or those who are without medical insurance will not pay any out-of-pocket costs for the treatment through the end of next year. Pfizer will also offer copay assistance for the treatment through 2028. The Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense and Indian Health Service will still be able to access Paxlovid the government has on hand. The government will also get 1 million treatment courses to keep in its stockpile.

Suppliers to pharmacies, doctor’s offices and hospitals can begin ordering the treatments from the drug companies starting next week.

“Pfizer is committed to a smooth commercial transition and is working collaboratively with the U.S. government and health care stakeholders to ensure broad and equitable access to this important medicine for all eligible patients,” the company said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press.

Paxlovid has been used to treat COVID-19 since 2021, but the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval earlier this year for it to be used on adults with coronavirus who face high risks of hospitalization or death. That group typically includes older adults and those with medical conditions like diabetes, asthma and obesity.

Full-year revenue for Paxlovid and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, is expected to be approximately $12.5 billion.

Merck has not confirmed a list price yet for its Lagevrio treatment but said in a statement to AP that it will also offer the treatment free to patients “who, without assistance, could not otherwise afford the product.”

Associated Press reporter Tom Murphy in Indianapolis contributed to this report.

United States News

President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference Thursday July 11, 2024, on the final day of the NAT...

Associated Press

Biden pushes on ‘blue wall’ sprint with Michigan trip as he continues to make the case for candidacy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four years ago, candidate Joe Biden stood before supporters at a Detroit high school, flanked by Kamala Harris and other rising Democratic stars, and called himself a bridge to the next generation of leaders. Biden, now a president seeking reelection, returns to the city Friday with many in his party now pleading […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

UN demands Russia immediately return Europe’s biggest nuclear plant to Ukraine

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution Thursday demanding that Russia urgently withdraw its military and personnel from Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and immediately return the facility to Ukraine. The resolution also reiterates the assembly’s demands for Russia to immediately “cease its aggression against Ukraine” and withdraw all troops, and […]

6 hours ago

President Joe Biden, joined by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy, speaks during an event on ...

Associated Press

The NATO summit was about Ukraine and Biden. Here are some key things to know

WASHINGTON (AP) — NATO leaders met this week to celebrate the alliance’s 75th anniversary under the cloud of deep political uncertainty in its most powerful member — the United States. But even as questions swirled about President Joe Biden’s future and the implications of a possible return to the White House by NATO skeptic Donald […]

6 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally in Raleigh, N.C., June. 28, 2024. It's been t...

Associated Press

Two weeks that imperiled Biden’s presidency left him on probation in the court of Democratic opinion

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden’s tribulations were previewed in Hollywood days before he got on the debate stage. At a fundraiser organized by George Clooney and packed with luminaries including former President Barack Obama, Biden was a listless figure, perhaps merely jet-lagged after flying straight from Italy but clearly not the man they knew. Oh […]

7 hours ago

A drone lands for a battery swap at Rockaway Beach in New York, Thursday, July 11, 2024. A fleet of...

Associated Press

On NYC beaches, angry birds are fighting drones on patrol for sharks and swimmers

NEW YORK (AP) — A fleet of drones patrolling New York City’s beaches for signs of sharks and struggling swimmers is drawing backlash from an aggressive group of seaside residents: local shorebirds. Since the drones began flying in May, flocks of birds have repeatedly swarmed the devices, forcing the police department and other city agencies […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Vermonters pummeled by floods exactly 1 year apart begin another cleanup

PLAINFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Owen Bradley has been listening to the roar of the Great Brook outside his historic brick house in Vermont for nearly 40 years. But the sound changed this week as raging waters inched closer, building to a torrent that tore through the back of the building, tearing off the decks. “First […]

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

COVID-19 treatments to enter the market with a hefty price tag