Wednesday, April 7, 2010

UK used only 5% of the H1N1 vaccine originally ordered/ BBC

The UK government originally contracted for 120 million doses of swine flu vaccine; it was able to cancel some contracts (by agreeing to buy bird flu vaccine for an epidemic that does not exist, and buying extra flu drugs from GSK), but still purchased 44 million doses.

Only 6 million doses were actually used.  The total cost of the swine flu vaccine procurement was not stated, but probably approaches a billion dollars.  (Neither the UK government nor the manufacturers will divulge the actual price.)  According to Business Week and the Independent:
GSK is in talks with a number of other administrations over plans to par back vaccine orders. A host of northern hemisphere countries are known to want to slash orders after the initial spike in incidents of swine flu cases quickly tailed off. Among them, France, Belgium and Spain are thought to be in talks with GSK.
The company said that it would not be altering its earnings estimates for 2010, saying that it expects to see swine flu vaccine sales of about £880m this year, a similar amount to 2009.

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