The Covid Vaccine Windfall Turns for Pfizer and Moderna
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Wall Street Journal
Posted: November 26th, 2023
The U.S. was in a fit of Covid panic during Thanksgiving week two years ago. By month’s end, Pfizer’s stock-market value had surpassed $300 billion, up 50% from the start of the pandemic. Moderna’s shares had soared by more than 1,000% over the same period. In 2022 Pfizer became the first pharmaceutical company to book more than $100 billion in annual sales owing to government purchases of its vaccines and antiviral pill. Fast-forward to today. The pandemic is over. Demand for Covid vaccines and treatments has plunged. Pfizer’s total revenue has fallen more than 40% since last year. Earlier this month the company took a $5.5 billion write-off on its Covid products owing to “lower-than-expected demand.” Only 14% of American adults have received the latest updated booster shots. The jabs’ greatest benefit was in providing political leaders with the courage to lift destructive lockdowns and mask mandates. The vaccines were supposed to be a two-shot-and-done regimen, not blockbuster medicines that rung up tens of billions of dollars in sales every year with government support. Statins and diabetes medicines prevent heart attacks, but the government doesn’t run ads urging Americans to use Lipitor or Ozempic. The government’s vaccine boosterism ... has increased public cynicism toward pharmaceutical companies. Drug makers can dine out on any given medicine only for so long before needing to cook up another pharmaceutical bonanza.