The proposed sale of bird flu vaccine in the US is expected to enhance the supply of the vaccine and reduce the nationwide demand of the preparation. Currently, the Australian manufacturer, CSL, is selling the flu vaccine in 16 different countries. Bulk supply of the vaccine to a Swiss based Berna Biotech enables distribution of the vaccine in nearly 24 countries.
The drug manufacturers have expressed hope over initiation of clinical trials in the U.S. following approval by the Food and Drug Administration authority. The company has also initiated expansion of the existing drug manufacturing plant. This would ensure an adequate supply of the vaccine for the forthcoming 2007-08 flu season. More than 20 million shots are hoped to be sold in the U.S.
An acute shortage of the bird flu vaccine was felt in the U.S, in the year 2004. Chiron, a California based firm and was one of only two major bird flu vaccine suppliers. This was soon joined by GlaxoSmithKline, a London based pharmaceutical company. Approximately 86 million doses of the drug were distributed last year.
It is anticipated that at least 120 million doses of the vaccine would be required to manage the bird flu crisis this year.