Pharma News for March 15, 2021


In a move to help speed up vaccine distribution, and to help defray the cost of providing the vaccine that providers are shouldering, the Biden administration has announced that it will double the amount that Medicare pays out for the three Covid-19 vaccines from $40 to $80 per dose. This also incentivizes providers to fulfill Biden’s pledge to have enough vaccine doses for all U.S. adults by May 1. (Biopharmadive)

Several countries in Europe have paused the AstraZeneca vaccine over concerns of blood clotting in some patients. Given that the number of people getting the vaccine has been lower than expected, this pause is concerning to health care professionals who worry that this will further erode confidence in the vaccine. (CNBC)

Pharma companies, like every company around the world, has had to deal with the negative impact Covid-19 has had on their business; however, there has been an unintended silver lining that pharmas are trying to take advantage of. Since the start of the pandemic, pharmas have been thrust front and center in the race to develop a vaccine to combat Covid-19 and it appears that their efforts are turning some people’s generally negative opinion of pharmas into having a more positive outlook of the pharmaceutical industry. (Fiercepharma)

In a pair of studies conducted in the U.S. and the U.K., it has been shown that overcrowding in hospitals led directly to more deaths from Covid-19. While hospitals are equipped with medicine, professional healthcare workers, etc. they are not equipped to run at 100% capacity (and in most cases over that) during a pandemic when they were still trying to figure out how to treat patients. (NPR)