Meantime, today we have had the Irish and US CDC reporting the epidemic has passed its peak, while federal health officials “fear that if they concede the flu has peaked, Americans will become complacent and lose interest in being vaccinated“; there is more tamiflu resistance appearing in both the US and Wales; Canada has had a recall of one lot of GSK vaccine, and a few deaths temporally associated with swine flu vaccinations; ‘course it may just be coincidence; and a tiny cluster of mutant virus infections may have caused much more serious disease.
A future post will discuss the pivotal role of the swine flu pandemic in large-scale acceptance of new vaccine adjuvants, and how this has dramatically improved prospects for the vaccine industry. Here is a taste of the larger story, from the Associated Press:
Vaccines are no longer a sleepy, low-profit niche in a booming drug industry. Today, they’re starting to give ailing pharmaceutical makers a shot in the arm.
The lure of big profits, advances in technology and growing government support has been drawing in new companies, from nascent biotechs to Johnson & Johnson. That means recent remarkable strides in overcoming dreaded diseases and annoying afflictions likely will continue.
“Even if a small portion of everything that’s going on now is successful in the next 10 years, you put that together with the last 10 years (and) it’s going to be characterized as a golden era,” says Emilio Emini, Pfizer Inc.’s head of vaccine research.
Vaccines now are viewed as a crucial path to growth, as drugmakers look for ways to bolster slowing prescription medicine sales amid intensifying generic competition and government pressure to cut down prices under the federal health overhaul.