Vaccines are becoming the engine of the pharmaceutical industry.
When they tell you that the pharmaceutical companies earn more on drugs (i.e. on treating the sick rather than vaccinating them), tell them that the Italian Competition Authority itself has said:
“The profitability of the vaccine sector – and in particular of the companies mentioned above – is high, even higher than that of the pharmaceutical industry as a whole, which has been the most profitable industry in absolute terms for some time: according to recent estimates, the net operating margin of vaccine products would in fact reach 30%, compared to an average margin of the pharmaceutical industry of 21%.
Similar profitability is also amplified by the growth rates of the sector, which in recent years have been much higher than those recorded by the rest of the pharmaceutical industry” (Page 34).
As can be seen from this document published by Millous Kaddar, WHO consultant analyst, the words of the guarantor are correct. But in Kaddar’s presentation of the global vaccine market, there’s more.
The monovalent Bexsero®▼ and the quadrivalent Menveo earned the GSK, in 2015, respectively 167 and 232 million dollars, revenues achieved also thanks to the agreement with the British government to include the vaccine in the national immunization programs, with the administration to children of two, four and 12-13 months. Demand for doses was so high that the UK company ran out of stock in early 2016 and ensures that 40 new drugs and vaccines will be launched by 2020, 80% of which have the potential to be “first-in-class” thanks to new mechanisms of action.
The new molecules and the company’s performance were presented to financial investors worldwide on 3 November 2015 in New York.
Andrey Witty, CEO of GSK, pointed out that the new products already contribute and will contribute in the coming years to even out (and not only) the losses due to the expiry of patents and the consequent erosion of generics.
In fact, since we went from the 3 vaccines of the 80s (antipolio, antidif-tetanic) to the current 15 (adding those against hepatitis B, whooping cough, haemophilob Hib, meningococcus B and C, pneumococcus, rotavirus, measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, papilloma virus, flu …) the “market” has changed, with substantial gains from producers.
From 2000 to 2013, the value of the vaccine market quadrupled from $5 billion to almost $24 billion in 2013, but the market in the West is small, as the graphs show, because three quarters of the world’s population live in developing countries.
The goal for the next few years: to reach 100 billion dollars by 2025 thanks to the 120 new products that have been programmed, 60 of which are declared important for developing countries.
Here you can read the full report of Milous Kaddar, WHO analyst.
It is normal for the pharmaceutical industry to earn money by selling its products, like any other company. What is not acceptable is the direct or indirect intervention in the health policies of governments, or the insistence on unscrupulous techniques of marketing and sale of fear in order to increase turnover. This is where the greatest concern lies.