Withdrawal of an anti-flu vaccine due to a price standoff between Sanofi and health authorities

Withdrawal of an anti-flu vaccine due to a price standoff between Sanofi and health authorities
Withdrawal of an anti-flu vaccine due to a price standoff between Sanofi and health authorities

The Efluelda flu vaccine will soon no longer be available in France. “We would like to inform you of the withdrawal from the market of the Efluelda vaccine marketed by the Sanofi laboratory in the coming weeks”announced Tuesday, April 23, the general directorate of health, which depends on the ministry, in a message to pharmacists.

The pharmaceutical group has transferred responsibility for its choice to the health authorities, which it accuses of having set a sales price too low for this vaccine reserved for over 65s, because it was specifically developed to protect the most vulnerable people. risk of complications. It is four times higher in dose than the classic flu vaccine developed by Sanofi, called VaxigripTetra.

“The authorities have decided to establish its new price at a level lower than the costs of production and distribution of this vaccine”, Sanofi reacted in a press release. The group, which also highlights the fact of having invested 50 million euros to maintain part of the production of the vaccine in France, “regrets this decision which makes it impossible to make it available”.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Sanofi boosts the manufacturing of its flu vaccines

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This confrontation takes place in a context of debates on the real benefits of Efluelda compared to traditional influenza vaccines. A series of studies have established its greatest effectiveness in people at risk, but to a relatively limited extent. “We have more than ten years of studies including numerous clinical studies demonstrating the superiority of Efluelda compared to that of standard dose influenza vaccines”insisted Sanofi to Agence France-Presse.

Read also | The flu epidemic intensifies, the vaccination campaign is extended

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Not being convinced, the French health authorities therefore refuse, unlike countries like the United States, to recommend this vaccine more than another for those over 65, which in their opinion justifies not paying for it. more expensive.

The quantity of vaccines available not affected

This debate is also part of a broader context where the pharmaceutical industry regularly believes that France sets prices for medicines that are too low. In this regard, Sanofi obtained the support of a major pharmacists’ union, the Federation of Pharmaceutical Unions of France (FSPF), on Tuesday.

“Facing the camera, the government ensures that it does everything possible to guarantee access to health products; in fact, it persists in an ever more restrictive pricing policy and in a low-cost health paradigm”accused the union in a press release.

This decision should, in any case, not affect the quantity of flu vaccines available since Sanofi promises to offer its classic vaccine as a replacement to pharmacies which had pre-ordered Efluelda.

Read also | Vaccination of the French on the rise

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The World with AFP

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