Pfizer Inc. (PFE) To Abort Sale Of Its Vaccines In China
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is ending its vaccines sales in China because of a lack of import license. The company could re-enter China’s vaccine market at some point in future if the situations improves. China is a key target market for many global drugmakers, but introducing drugs in the market is increasingly becoming difficult because of tight regulations.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has no choice but to stop the sale of one of its best-selling treatments in China. The drug being withdrawn from China is the only vaccine that the company sells in the country. The reason Pfizer is halting the sale of Prevenar in China is that its import license for the drug was not renewed by Chinese authorities.
It is unclear the degree of the financial damage that move to end sale of Prevenar might have on Pfizer’s performance. However, the company has already admitted that its sales team in China will be adversely affected.
Only vaccine for children under two years
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)’s Prevenar is sold as an anti-bacterial treatment designed for the prevention of various bacterial infections that are collectively referred to as pneumococcal disease. Prevenar is the only vaccine approved in China for use in children below the age of two years.
Pfizer’s sales team attached to Prevenar is about 200 people, although the company has more than 9,000 workers in China. The company operates segments such as consumer health products, prescription drugs and research and development in the world’s No. 2 drug market – China.
Huge drug market opportunity
Drug companies are jostling for a slice of the Chinese healthcare spending, where medical bill is expected to reach $1 trillion within the next five years while spending on drugs alone is estimated to hit $185 billion in the next three years, according to estimates by IMS Health.
Neither the Chinese authorities nor Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) has commented on why the import license for Prevenar has not been renewed. However, Pfizer only stated that it work with Chinese regulators so that it brings back Prevenar to the market. The company is expected to return with an updated version of the drug as Prevenar 13.
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