Albert Bourla, Pfizer
Gian Ehrenzeller | Keystone | AP
President Donald Trump’s executive orders aimed at reducing the costs of prescription drugs in the United States will cause “enormous destruction” as the pharmaceutical industry struggles to develop vaccines and treatments for coronavirus, Pfizer CEO said Tuesday. , Albert Bourla, to investors.
“Overall, I’m disappointed with this executive order,” Bourla said during a conference call about the company’s second-quarter earnings. “They represent enormous destruction at a time when the industry needs to be fully focused on developing a possible vaccine or treatment with Covid-19.”
On Friday, Trump signed four executive orders designed to raise US drug prices at least on par with its costs abroad. Trump has made cutting drug costs one of his top healthcare problems early in his tenure. But the price of drugs has been in the background for the past year, as the Trump administration has shifted its focus to other priorities, such as the teen vaping epidemic and now the coronavirus. The industry trade group PhRMA, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, called the executive orders a “reckless distraction.”
Bourla’s comment came after the company reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and increased its outlook for 2020. The outlook increased despite a 32% drop in earnings. Pfizer said the coronavirus cut about $ 500 million, or 4%, of its quarterly income as more people worked from home and received fewer new prescriptions and vaccinations.
Pfizer and German biotech company BioNTech said they began their advanced-stage human trial for a possible coronavirus vaccine on Monday.
The trial will include up to 30,000 participants ages 18 to 85 at 120 sites worldwide, including 39 U.S. states, the companies announced. If successful, they hope to submit it for a final regulatory review as soon as October. They plan to supply up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and approximately 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.