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Expand chart
Data: Company documents; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Over the past 4 years, the product that generated the most sales for Pfizer wasn't one of its household names, like Lyrica, Lipitor or Viagra. It was Prevnar 13, a vaccine that protects against pneumonia and other infections.

The bottom line: Pfizer has collected $23.4 billion in Prevnar 13 sales since 2015, including $5.8 billion last year. The pharmaceutical giant got a big revenue boost in 2015, after the federal government recommended the vaccine for people older than 65 and required insurance to cover it.

Details: Before 2015, most of Pfizer's Prevnar 13 revenue came from international markets.

  • But the seal of approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in late 2014 prompted U.S. seniors to get the vaccine, which most commonly was given to children younger than 2.
  • Pfizer commands higher prices for the drug in the U.S. The price of a single Prevnar 13 shot this year, before taking out rebates and discounts, is about $195 — a 5% increase from 2018 and 79% higher than its list price from 2010.
  • The patent for Prevnar 13 doesn't expire until 2026, several years after some of Pfizer's other growing medications, like Ibrance and Xeljanz, will have lost their patent protection. (Lyrica, Lipitor and Viagra are already off-patent.)

Go deeper: The rising price of the pneumococcal vaccine is angering doctors, Kaiser Health News reports.

Go deeper

Home confinees face imminent return to prison

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Thousands of prisoners who've been in home confinement for as long as a year because of the pandemic face returning to prison when it's over — unless President Biden rescinds a last-minute Trump Justice Department memo.

Why it matters: Most prisoners were told they would not have to come back as they were released early with ankle bracelets. Now, their lives are on hold while they wait to see whether or when they may be forced back behind bars. Advocates say about 4,500 people are affected.

The "essential" committee that still doesn't exist

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Nearly five months after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced the creation of the bipartisan Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, it's not been formed much less met.

Why it matters: Select committees are designed to address urgent matters, but the 117th Congress is now nearly one-quarter complete without this panel assembling. When she announced this committee, Pelosi described it as an "essential force" to "combat the crisis of income and wealth disparity in America."

Biden's ethics end-around for labor

President Biden surveys a water treatment plant during a visit to New Orleans today. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is excusing top officials from ethics rules that would otherwise restrict their work with large labor unions that previously employed them, federal records show.

Why it matters: Labor's sizable personnel presence in the administration is driving policy, and the president's appointment of top union officials to senior posts gives those unions powerful voices in the federal bureaucracy — even at the cost of strictly adhering to his own stringent ethics standards.

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