GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) has announced that its request to use its human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in China has been approved.
The company’s vaccine which is known as Cervarix can now be used in China to address cervical cancer. GSK’s division in China announced that Cervarix will be the first HPV vaccine to be licensed in the country. The statement also revealed that the drug should be launched early next year. A statement from the firm revealed that the treatment will target women aged 9 to 25 years old.
Cervical cancer is the second most prevalent cancer reported in women in the age bracket of 15 to 44 years old in Asia. Roughly 130,000 new cases are reported in China alone each year. A global study claims that China accounts for 28% of the cervical cancer cases reported globally. GSK stated that a new cervical cancer case is reported every minute on a global average. A spokesperson for the FDA in China revealed that Glaxo received approval to register and import the drug in the country.
GSK and Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) are some of the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture HPV vaccines. Merck’s vaccine for HPV is known as Gardasil. The two firms have had a hard time trying to convince doctors, especially in Asia, to recommend the treatments to their young patients. The companies have also been carrying out campaigns in the US to educate people of the dangers of cervical cancer.
It has been particularly hard for GSK in the Chinese market. The company’s sales have not been as attractive since the $500 million fine that it had to pay in 2014 for misconduct in the country. The firm stated that it will cooperate with the authorities in China to make sure that patients in the country have better access to treatments. The company revealed that it is adopting an innovative pricing strategy that will include Cervarix into the immunization programs.