Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:59 am Post subject: Vaccine Incentives in the Obama Administration
By Cole Werble
Out of the $7.1 billion devoted by the Bush Administration to pandemic flu preparedness, about $1 billion remains to be spent, according to Dack Dalrymple, the head of Dalrymple Associates and an expert on vaccine policy and funding in Washington.
In a recent speech in Boston, Dalrymple pointed out that about half of the pandemic funding went directly to support vaccine research and capacity expansion. The other part went to non-vaccine initiatives.
Pandemic preparedness projects pumped over $1.65 billion into research, manufacturing capacity and new technologies in the flu vaccine field and development on new technologies (such as cell culture manufacturing) during the past five years.
Are the manufacturing and commercial development subsidies that the vaccine companies learned to count on from the Bush Administration likely to continue? Probably not; but they may be replaced by a different, and more timely, form of incentive – enhanced government-stimulated markets for vaccine products.
The Obama Administration will be beneficiary-oriented, looking for ways to provide more health services to people not now receiving adequate services. Vaccines fit that bill perfectly and vaccine companies have well-identified target segments for many different types of vaccines. There are plans (and improved technology) for vaccinating the elderly and adolescents.
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