Novartis to Increase US Influenza Vaccine Supplies

July 12, 2007
Angie Drakulich
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Novartis Vaccines plans to produce approximately 40 million doses of its ?Fluvirin? vaccine for distribution in the United States during the 2007?2008 flu season.

Basel (July 3)-Novartis Vaccines plans to produce approximately 40 million doses of its “Fluvirin” vaccine for distribution in the United States during the 2007–2008 flu season. This represents a 30% increase from the 2006–2007 season. Half of the new doses are scheduled to be delivered by the end of September, with the remaining doses delivered by the end of October, depending on the release of doses by the US Food and Drug Administration (Rockville, MD).

“Providing a reliable and timely supply of flu vaccines is a top priority for Novartis in supporting US public health goals of increasing vaccination rates among the growing number of people at risk and recommended for vaccination,” said Rajiv De Silva, president of Novartis Vaccines in the US, in a company press release.

“The early availability of Novartis influenza vaccines will enable healthcare providers to open additional clinics early in the season, a period when vaccination is most often requested,” he added.

Fluvirin contains the three influenza virus strains identified in the annual public health expert assessment for the upcoming season in the US. These include: A/Solomon Islands/3/206 (HN1)-like virus; A/Wisconsin/67/2005 (H3N2)-like virus; and B/Malaysia/2506/2004-like virus. In an average year, influenza leads to more than 200,000 hospitalizations in the US and kills nearly 36,000 people.