Pfizer has announced that its pneumonia vaccine, Prevnar has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to be used in treating pneumonia and meningitis in adults over the age of 50 years.
Prevnar 13 is one of Pfizer's most successful products and has already approved to be used in treating diseases caused by pneumococcus bacteria in children. The vaccine fights 13 different strains of pneumococcus bacteria and generates more than $1.5 billion in annual revenues for the company.
Stating that a large section of the population over 50 years of age are suffering from diseases caused by pneumococcus bacteria, the FDA revealed that the latest approval will provide an alternative option for physicians to prevent such diseases.
"Pneumococcal disease is a substantial cause of illness and death. Today's approval provides an additional vaccine for preventing pneumococcal pneumonia and invasive disease in this age group", the director of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Dr Karen Midthun said.