By Tom Randall
Pfizer Inc. (PFE)’s pneumonia vaccine, the company’s fastest-growing drug by sales, was found effective in two studies of adults over the age of 50, supporting the company’s regulatory application to expand the product’s use.
The vaccine, Prevnar 13, produced a stronger immune response against pneumococcal bacteria than an older vaccine from Merck & Co. that’s currently recommended for adults 65 and older, according to Emilio Emini, New York-based Pfizer’s head of vaccine research. The results are being presented this week at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Milan.
Pfizer’s Prevnar is cleared for use in children up to 6 years of age. Sales of the vaccine, which includes Prevnar 13 and an older version called Prevnar 7, jumped 43 percent in the first quarter to $1.15 billion from a year earlier. Pfizer, the world’s biggest drugmaker, applied in December for U.S. approval for older adults based on data from the two studies, and expects a decision from U.S. regulators in October.
“We’ve got the data to show that this gives rise to a very good immune response,” Emini said in a telephone interview. “The argument is that every adult, as they get older, needs to get this vaccine.”
[Note from SaneVax: This type of article is no longer acceptable to the medical consumer community. If proof of efficacy exists from legitimate studies, the author should link to those studies. Medical consumers have a right to know how the studies were conducted, by whom they were conducted and what the outcome was – otherwise informed consent is impossible. Medical consumers should not have to rely on a reporter’s word when it comes to something as important as their health.]