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Pfizer launches new variant of pneumonia-prevention vaccine

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Product covers over 70 % of the stains as compared to the earlier version

Awareness: Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth Managing Director Kewal Handa (left)with film director Farah Khan (centre) and P.D. Hinduja Hospital Consultant Pediatrician Nitin Shah at the launch of new pneumonia vaccine in Mumbai on Thursday. — PHOTO: PAUL NORONHA
Awareness: Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth Managing Director Kewal Handa (left)with film director Farah Khan (centre) and P.D. Hinduja Hospital Consultant Pediatrician Nitin Shah at the launch of new pneumonia vaccine in Mumbai on Thursday. — PHOTO: PAUL NORONHA

Global pharma major Pfizer on Thursday launched a new variant of pneumonia-prevention vaccine, Prevanar-13, in the Indian market.

India recorded over 3.71 lakh infant deaths due to pneumonia every year and the vaccine had a very large opportunity as around 25 million births occurred in the country every year, Pfizer Managing Director Kewal Handa told reporters here.

Sells in 30 countries

Pfizer's recently acquired subsidiary, Wyeth, will be handling the product in India. The company now sells the new version of Prevanar in 30 countries.

A single course costs over Rs.15,000 spread across four doses and the company was trying to get the product included in the national immunisation programme which will give a boost to sales, Mr. Handa said.

“The product covers over 70 per cent of the stains as compared to the earlier version's 48 per cent... we are currently looking to extend the Prevanar franchise to adults as people over 60 years also get affected by pneuomonia,” Mr. Handa said.

Pfizer had launched the first version of Prevanar in 2006 for the Indian market, Mr. Handa said, without, however, disclosing details of its performance in the market.

“Awareness of the medical fraternity and market expansion are the key,” he said, when asked about the revenue generation from the new line. — PTI


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