GlaxoSmithKline increases US seasonal flu vaccine shipments
Company is shipping FLUARIXÂ® and FLULAVALâ„¢ to U.S. customers for 2007-2008 season
PHILADELPHIA, PA, September 13, 2007 â€” GlaxoSmithKline [NYSE: GSK] today announced that it is supplying the U.S. market with a combined total of 30-35 million doses of the seasonal influenza virus vaccines Fluarix Â®(Influenza Virus Vaccine) and FluLaval â„¢ (Influenza Virus Vaccine) â€” up from approximately 25 million doses in the 2006-2007 flu season. Supplies of the two vaccines are now shipping to U.S. customers for the 2007-2008 influenza season.
â€œProviding an ample and steadily growing supply of flu vaccine has been a priority for GlaxoSmithKline since entering the U.S. market in 2004,â€ said David Pernock, Senior Vice President, GlaxoSmithKline. â€œOver the years, GSK has significantly increased its influenza vaccine manufacturing capacity, and we have taken steps to improve the way this product is distributed to those who need it.â€
In January 2007, GSK launched www.GSKvaccinesdirect.com, a new Web site that allows customers to efficiently place their orders of FLUARIX . FLULAVAL is delivered through three distributors: ASD Healthcare, McKesson and Henry Schein Vaccines Direct.
FLUARIX and FLULAVAL will be delivered in a phased approach through September and October with completion anticipated around the end of October.
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that healthcare professionals order their influenza vaccines early in an effort to increase the probability of getting the vaccine earlier in the vaccination season.
About Influenza (Flu)
Many respiratory diseases occur every winter, but the flu can be one of the most severe. The illness is easily passed from one person to another through the air by droplets released when an infected individual coughs or sneezes, but may also be spread by direct contact with influenza virus-contaminated surface. Influenza is a highly contagious and potentially deadly virus that affects five to 20 percent of the total U.S. population during each influenza season. Each year, more than 200,000 Americans are hospitalized and about 36,000 die from flu-related complications. Most deaths occur in people who are 65 or older. In 1918, before a flu vaccine was available, a flu pandemic killed an estimated 20-50 million people worldwide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the single best way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated each fall. Groups who are at risk of serious complications include the very young, people 50 years of age or older, the chronically ill, and women who will be pregnant during influenza season. Additionally, people who live with or care for persons at high-risk of complications (including all healthcare workers) should get vaccinated to help them stay healthy and avoid infecting others.
The beginning, severity and length of the flu season can vary widely from year to year. While October or November is the best time to get vaccinated, getting the flu vaccine later can still be beneficial in most years because influenza activity usually peaks between December and March.
Important Safety Information
FLUARIX and FLULAVAL should not be administered to anyone with known systemic hypersensitivity reactions to eggs, egg products, egg or chicken proteins, or any component of the vaccines. FLUARIX and FLULAVAL should not be administered to anyone who has had a life-threatening reaction to previous administration of any influenza vaccine, or to anyone with an acute evolving neurologic disorder. In a placebo-controlled clinical trial with FLUARIX , adverse events included pain and redness at the injection site, muscle aches, and fatigue. In comparator-controlled clinical trials with FLULAVAL , the most common adverse events were pain, redness, and/or swelling at the injection site and headache, fatigue, myalgia, fever, and malaise. Most adverse events in clinical trials were mild and self-limited. (See adverse reactions section of the Prescribing Information for each product for other potential adverse events.) Vaccination with FLUARIX or FLULAVAL may not protect 100% of susceptible individuals. If Guillain-BarrÃ© syndrome has occurred within 6 weeks of receipt of prior influenza vaccine, the decision to give FLUARIX or FLULAVAL should be based on careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks.
GlaxoSmithKline: A Leader in Flu
GlaxoSmithKline has an active research and development program targeted at both seasonal and pandemic flu and has recently invested more than $2 billion to expand capacity for manufacturing its flu vaccines FLUARIX and FLULAVAL and its antiviral flu medication Relenza Â® (zanamivir for inhalation). GlaxoSmithKline â€” one of the worldâ€™s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies â€” is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information, visit GlaxoSmithKline at www.gsk.com.