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Subsidised Influenza Vaccine secured for 3 years

Subsidised Influenza Vaccine secured for next Three Years

The Government drug-funding agency PHARMAC has reached agreement with Merck Sharp & Dohme to supply its influenza vaccine (Vaxigrip) for the National Subsidised annual campaign for the 2005, 2006 and 2007 winters.

Merck Sharp & Dohme has recently become the agents in New Zealand for Aventis Pasteur the worlds largest manufacturer of influenza vaccine, providing more than 120 million of these vaccines every year.

The Influenza Vaccine campaign runs from March to June of each year, the influenza vaccine is administered in General Practice and by registered vaccinators.

The agreement secures supply of the vaccine at no additional cost to the District Health Boards for the 2005 campaign and at a reduced price for the 2006 and 2007 campaigns.

“Securing supply of the vaccine at theses prices will allow DHBs to continue to target those patients that can benefit from vaccination the most” says PHARMAC Chief Executive Wayne McNee

Vaxigrip will be the only subsidised influenza vaccine for patients eligible under the national criteria.

The criteria for subsidised vaccine will not be changed as a result of this agreement patients over the age of 65 and those under 65, including children, with some chronic health conditions, will continue to be funded by the District Health Boards.

“The contracting for supply of Influenza Vaccine is a new area for PHARMAC and we are very pleased with the result.” says PHARMAC Chief Executive Wayne McNee

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