SOURCE: Kalorama Information

Kalorama Information

April 03, 2012 15:54 ET

Weak Flu Market Shouldn't Affect Vaccine Sales: Kalorama

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 3, 2012) - This year's flu season is weaker than last year's, with reports of influenza cases down, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But according to Kalorama Information, this does not mean that pharmaceutical companies need to be panicking when it comes time to report revenues. The healthcare market research publisher, who conducts a yearly look at the vaccine marketplace, says the dynamics of vaccine sales means the weakness of the season may not destroy their expected revenues.

"A weak flu season will impact doses or shots used, but probably wouldn't affect sales, as purchasers often place their orders well in advance of the beginning of flu season," said Bruce Carlson, publisher of Kalorama Information.

Kalorama says that vaccine makers such as Novartis, Glaxo Smith Kline, Sanofi Aventis and others may end up with extra, unused doses if fewer consumers come out for vaccination, but sales probably wouldn't be significantly impacted. Kalorama also asserts that consumers will often get shots anyway at the beginning of the season, and it's only later, when the stats about severity come out that the industry gets a read on the number of caseloads that actually materialized.

Kalorama suggests there is more impact in the reverse direction when the flu season is severe. In periods of high severity, more consumers will come out for shots and this could create a shortage or sometimes some last-minute ordering. Weak severity impacts usage/sales to the downside less than high severity could influence demand/sales to the upside. Generally, vaccine makers still need to stock up for next year.

The impact on retail drug outlets is much greater than on the suppliers of the vaccine, now that fees for these shots are a part of their expected revenues, Kalorama finds. Carlson notes that retail drug outlets such as Walgreens have been reporting poor results in the first few months of 2012, citing flu shot revenue woes.

Last year, Kalorama projected the world vaccine market at $25.3 billion, with influenza as one of the major growth segments for the market. Kalorama's report on the vaccine market, Vaccines 2011-15: World Market Analysis, Key Players, and Critical Trends in a Fast-Changing Industry, includes market estimates and forecasts for specific types of vaccines, profiles of vaccine makers, as well as issues and trends affecting the market.

About Kalorama Information
Kalorama Information, a division of, 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. We routinely assist the media with healthcare topics. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and our blog.

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