Chiron reduces number of projected flu vaccine doses
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 4, 2005
Chiron Corp., the firm that was unable to deliver any of its expected influenza vaccine doses last year because of contamination problems, said last month that it had reduced the number of doses it plans to produce for the upcoming season.
According to a statement issued by the company, it expects to deliver between 18 million and 26 million doses, rather than the previously announced 25 million to 30 million doses. The reduction is being blamed on delays in ramping up to full production and the usual manufacturing issues associated with the complexity of this vaccine.
"While it remains possible that we will reach our previously announced range, the delays and other manufacturing issues have had an adverse impact on our ramp-up to full production. ... We are committed to our goal of supplying influenza vaccine in time for the upcoming season," said Chiron CEO Howard Pien.
The United Kingdom's Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency restored the company's manufacturing license in March. The Food and Drug Administration is due to inspect the plant this month.
But while one manufacturer has reduced its projections, another has taken a step to enter the market. GlaxoSmithKline submitted its application to the FDA for approval of its vaccine in May.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/07/04/hlbf0704.htm.