Pharma companies earned US$3.3bn on H1N1 vaccine


Report assesses the impact of the swine flu vaccine on the pharmaceutical industry

Kalorama, an independent market research company, has revealed that the H1N1 vaccines to combat swine flu increased revenues for suppliers by US$3.3bn. The companies included Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Australian pharmaceutical firm CSL.

According to Kalorama’s H1N1 \'Swine Flu\' Vaccine Market Review, the contracting, production and distribution of the H1N1 vaccine will be a model for future pandemic vaccines.

Novartis capitalised on its knowledge of pandemic flu vaccines to become first to market with an H1N1 vaccine and earned the largest US contract, the report says.

GSK performed better in the international market, says Kalorama, while CSL had a home advantage as the Australian government ordered a dose for every person in the country. A unique delivery method also earned AstraZeneca market share.

‘It was a unique product and each company adopted a different strategy,’ said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information. ‘For instance, Astra Zeneca didn\'t earn the revenue of the others, but the H1N1 pandemic gave the firm an important showcase for intranasal delivery. Response to the Flu Mist product for the seasonal flu vaccine had been slow, but it was broadly used for H1N1 shots, and consumers and providers are now more comfortable with the intranasal option.’

The report says H1N1 revenues earned by these companies are unlikely to recur since the US FDA and the World Health Organisation recommend adding the H1N1 strain into this year\'s seasonal flu.

Additionally the report provides an assessment of the impact of swine flu, examines the performance of vaccine makers last year and makes predictions about future pandemic vaccines.