Contract Granted for UK Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Article published on 27th June 2008

The UK Department of Health has granted GlaxoSmithKline a contract to supply two million "Cervarix", HPV cervical cancer vaccine courses over three years.

This came as a blow to GSK's French rivals for the contract Sanofi Pasteur MSD, which has been in competition with Glaxo for European sales of the vaccine, especially as noises earlier in the decision making process indicated that Sanofi Pasteur's version of the vaccine, "Gardasil", would get the contract.

Last year the panel of scientific advisers that the Department of Health drew their recommendations from indicated that Gardasil seemed to offer broader protection against a different HPV sub-types, and unless Cervarix was a lot cheaper they would recommend the former.

As it turned out, however, both the vaccines are priced at about the £240 mark for a three-dose course, but still Cervarix won the contract. Out of another 20 potential contracts across Europe, GSK won 16 of them while in competition with Sanofi Pasteur MSD

Of course GSK is overjoyed by the decision, saying that it was “great news for girls and women across the UK”

Sanofi Pasteur MSD's vice-president of medical and scientific affairs, Patrick Poirot, has revealed that Gardasil had already cornered a 90% share of the European market share in Europe

Mr. Poirot went on to say: "We regret that schoolgirls in the UK, unlike most of their peers in western Europe, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, will not benefit from the unmatched cervical cancer protection and additional benefits provided by Gardasil."


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