NEW YORK, April 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --This year's flu season started later than it has during the previous three flu seasons, according to Kalorama Information, slightly affecting growth in vaccine sales. The healthcare market research firm studies vaccines on a routine basis and said the timing of the season figured into results indicating strong sales of vaccines but lower growth of those sales for 2016. Kalorama found that influenza sales were $3.02 billion in 2015, slightly higher than in 2014, and are expected to be $3.15 billion by year's end. The finding was made in the firm's latest study on the vaccine market, Vaccines 2016.
"While vaccine sales are not always exactly correlated to the severity flu season, it usually has some influence on orders placed by governments and providers," said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information. "Vaccine manufacturers assume variance in their business models."
Flu activity increasing in late December 2015 and continuing to increase slowly through early March 2016. For this season, manufacturers originally projected that they would provide between 171 to 179 million doses of vaccine for the U.S. market. As of late February 2016, manufacturers reported having shipped approximately 146.4 million doses of flu vaccine.
By the end of March, activity began to decline, according to the CDC. While H3N2 viruses predominated early in the season, H1N1 viruses were the most common later and became the predominant virus. Driving the influenza vaccine market are the worldwide immunization programs that have been set in motion to increase influenza immunization rates, as well as the aging of the worldwide population.
"Several worldwide pharmacoeconomic studies have shown that vaccination can prevent about 50% of deaths from influenza-related complications in the elderly, and this is helping convince patients," Carlson said.
Government activity in the United States continue to drive the market aside from the variance of flu seasons as well, according to Kalorama. The influenza inoculation goals for Healthy People 2020 are ambitious and include vaccination of 80% of non-institutionalized adults aged 18 to 64 years and pregnant women; and 90% of non-institutionalized high risk adults aged 18 to 64 years, non-institutionalized adults aged 65 years and older, institutionalized adults aged 18 years and older and healthcare personnel. This will drive continued increases in vaccination.
According to the CDC, this season's sales include both trivalent (three component) and quadrivalent (four component) influenza vaccines, which protect against the A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus, an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus, and a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus. (This is a B/Yamagata lineage virus). Some of the 2015-2016 flu vaccine is quadrivalent vaccine and also protects against an additional B virus (B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus). This is a B/Victoria lineage virus. In late February, CDC reported flu vaccine effectiveness of 59% this season. This finding is comparable to past estimates for seasons and means that the vaccine reduces the risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by 59%. The vaccines are somewhat more effective against the B/Yamagata lineage of B viruses (79%) and all influenza B viruses (76%) and less effective against the H1N1 viruses responsible for most flu illness this season (51%).
About Kalorama Information Kalorama Information, a division of MarketResearch.com, supplies the latest in independent medical market research in diagnostics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare; as well as a full range of custom research services. Reports can be purchased through Kalorama's and are also available on www.marketresearch.com and www.profound.com.