GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) Resolves Bexsero Shortage

GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK)

After a global shortage, meningitis B vaccine Bexsero will finally be restocked in the UK by June – GlaxoSmithKline plc (NYSE:GSK) revealed.

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A GSK spokesperson ensured that the Bexsero shortage experienced during the first half of the year has finally eased.

Bexsero Shortage

In January, GSK began experiencing an unexpected shortage in Bexsero supplies due to a surprising demand. The high demand for the vaccine is caused by the pharmaceutical giant’s collaboration with the UK government. The vaccination program came into being after Faye Burdett, a two-year-old meningitis B patient, died. The condition among children has long been a problem in the UK. Over the past 15 years, 50 patients have already died due to meningitis B in Scotland alone. Matt Dawson, former England rugby captain, has reiterated the struggle of both the patients and their parents. Dawson has a two-year-old son who survived meningitis B.

Under the deal, GSK is to provide the meningitis B vaccine to newborn babies aged two months, four months, and 12 months. British parents wanted to take advantage of the program. Since then, many of those who were not able to get their children vaccinated in private clinics are clamoring for more. The public vaccination program, however, is apparently not affected by the shortage.

Bexsero Sales Growth

Most private clinics in the region already have a long waiting list for the vaccine shot. JDR Healthcare, for example, reported that about 650 people are on the waiting list. Roc Private Healthcare, on the other hand, already has 260 names on its list. Meanwhile, Scottish clinics have already listed over 700 children. Some parents are willing to pay as much as $500 just to get their children the shot. Consequently, GSK assured that it would be working closely with these clinics in order to solve the demand problem as soon as possible.

The shortage can be easily fixed by adjusting the equilibrium price point higher, i.e., raising prices, which solves all shortages by bringing supply and demand back into balance.

In any case, new Bexsero supplies to UK clinics will likely boost the drug’s sales. In the previous quarter, the vaccine alone brought in $90 million. This helped GSK’s overall vaccine sales surge 14% to $1.28 billion last quarter.

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