Vaccines generate billions of dollars in revenue for drug companies as costs paid by the federal government — which purchases half of all the vaccines for the nation's children — have risen 15-fold since 1986, The New York Times reported
Annual immunization costs have gone from $100 per child in 1986 to $2,192 per child in 2015, the Times noted, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Times described vaccination costs today as "soaring."
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"Vaccination prices have gone from single digits to sometimes triple digits in the last two decades, creating dilemmas for doctors and their patients as well as straining public health budgets," the Times wrote.
The world's 11 top pharmaceutical companies made more than $700 billion in profits in 2012, with U.S. consumers paying more than most of their counterparts in other nations for drugs. Of that figure, the vaccine market, while hard to track, is about $24 billion annually — a small portion of the pharmaceutical industry as a whole, The Atlantic reported
Because of rising expense, some doctors have stopped offering immunizations, noting they cannot afford to stock them, the Times said. It added that vaccine patent applications had risen tenfold from the 1990s, marking about 10,000 each year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines a price list
for current vaccines in the marketplace.
Public health advocates argue that countries must control drug prices, while pharmaceutical manufacturers say they must increase the price of vaccines to cover ongoing research and development, The Huffington Post reported, noting vaccines' unprecedented retail prices
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