Finally, a deal has been reached on the price of the meningococcal B vaccine, Bexsero, and the life-saving vaccine will become part of national childhood immunization schedule in the United Kingdom.
The back-and-forth between the UK government and GlaxoSmithKline, which acquired the vaccine 3 weeks ago, ended with an agreement.
In a statement from London, the pharmaceutical company said:
GSK is delighted to have reached an agreement with the UK’s Department of Health that will enable babies in the UK to receive its meningitis B vaccine through the NHS immunisation schedule.
We have moved rapidly to conclude negotiations since we acquired the vaccine from Novartis at the beginning of March.
We believe the agreement we have reached offers fair value for the NHS and allows a reasonable return for GSK to ensure that we can continue to invest in creating new treatments and vaccines.
Meningitis B is a highly aggressive strain of bacterial meningitis that infects the protective membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It is very serious and should be treated as a medical emergency. If the infection is left untreated, it can cause severe brain damage and infect the blood. In some cases, bacterial meningitis can be fatal.
According to Meningitis Now, there are an estimated 1,870 cases of meningitis B each year in the UK. Meningitis B is most common in children under five years old, particularly in babies under the age of one.