To date, the federal government has footed the bill for the shots, but the Trump and Biden administrations have intended to eventually cease that practice as the pandemic shifts to an endemic phase.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases are declining steadily, reaching levels not seen since mid-May.
HHS has scheduled a planning session dedicated to COVID-19 drug payments. The agency will invite representatives from pharma companies, pharmacies and state health departments to the meeting. The meeting will cover regulatory matters and treatment for uninsured patients.
The transition to shifting financial liability for COVID-19 therapies to the private sector could take months, according to a WSJ article quoting an HHS spokesperson.
The move could also be good news for the pharmaceutical industry, which likely will charge the private sector more for COVID-19 vaccines and drugs than it did the U.S. government.
White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha recently told CNN that the U.S. government planned to continue investing in developing novel COVID-19 vaccines. Jha added, however, that the government would shift more of the pandemic response to the private sector.
The U.S. government also bankrolled the COVID-19 vaccine initiative Operation Warp Speed, a multi-billion dollar public-private partnership.
Earlier this year, the White House asked Congress for $10 billion in funding for the continued fight against COVID-19, but that initiative stalled.
The federal government is currently working on obtaining updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters for distribution beginning in September or October.
Filed Under: Infectious Disease
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