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Pharma Sector Did Its Job With COVID-19 Vaccine: Barclays Analyst

Jayson Derrick
·2 min read

The pharmaceutical industry has succeeded in doing its job in manufacturing multiple vaccines for the novel coronavirus, and it's "now in the hands" of government authorities to manage the distribution, Emily Field, head of European pharmaceutical research at Barclays, Emily Field said Friday on CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe."

Price Not A Factor: Early indications suggest AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ: AZN) and Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) vaccine will cost $3 to $5, while pricing for Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) could reach $40 on the high end.

Pricing is unlikely to be a determining factor as governments are prioritizing getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible given a limited initial supply, Field said. 

"As long as we know it is safe and efficacious, I don't think that price is going to be a determining factor," she said.

Convincing The Public: The general public should be reminded that results from vaccine trials are "the best we could have hoped for," the Barclays analyst said. 

Public opinion and attitudes toward the vaccine could be impacted by mixed messages from the World Health Organization and the U.S. FDA related to Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD), she said.

Specifically, the WHO was encouraging doctors worldwide not to use Gilead's remdesivir as a treatment against the coronavirus.

Related Link: Pfizer, BioNTech File First For Emergency Use Authorization Of Coronavirus Vaccine

These public disputes may help skeptics prove their point that the medical community isn't as confident as they appear to be, Field said. 

To counter this argument, it should be noted remdesivir was designed years before the start of the pandemic to treat other viruses such as Ebola, the analyst said.

AstraZeneca was quick to design a new antibody treatment for COVID-19, she said. 

"In essence, these older drugs really weren't meant to treat COVID-19, so it makes sense that there is some debate over their efficacy in treating this disease." 

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