U.S. / Coronavirus / Vaccine

Monoclonal Antibodies, Vaccines Both Help Save Lives—One Costs 52 Times More

5 min read
fairly difficult
The Biden administration purchased another 1.4 million doses of Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment at a cost of nearly $3 billion.
Demand for monoclonal antibody treatments have surged as the Delta variant spreads, but hordes of Americans relying on the treatment instead of vaccination is an expensive solution to the pandemic.

A free and effective way of helping to keep COVID-19-positive people out of the hospital, states ramped up access to monoclonal antibody treatments. Amid increased interest, the Biden administration purchased another 1.4 million doses of Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment, but the move to fight off a potential shortage of the treatment came at a cost of nearly $3 billion.

Regeneron is selling its monoclonal antibody cocktail to the U.S. government at $2,100 per dose, the same price as Eli Lilly's treatment. That's about 52 times more than the cost of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The only COVID-19 vaccine to be fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Pfizer sold its vaccine to the Trump administration in July 2020 for about $19.50 per dose. A two-dose vaccine, the inoculation costs about $40 per person. Moderna's vaccine is priced at about $15 per dose, a total of about $30 for full vaccination, and Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine was only about $10 per dose, according to the Congressional Research Service.

More than 41 million people in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 660,000 people have died. Following a surge in vaccinations in April, daily inoculations nationwide trended downward for months, giving rise to the Delta variant, which has proven more transmissible.

The spread of the Delta variant fueled surges in cases and hospitalizations and health care systems nationwide have been pushed to their breaking points. Health care systems in states with low vaccination rates have been particularly strained, making the need for monoclonal antibody treatments vital to helping alleviate stress.

The treatment was approved for COVID-19 under an Emergency Use Authorization after it showed promise at helping…
Jenni Fink
Read full article