Zika Vaccine Could Actually Be Profitable

Within the past year, there have been no health emergencies around the world that have gained more attention than the Zika virus. Transmitted to humans through an infected mosquito, the virus can produce birth defects in newborns as well as many other problems for people of all ages. Because of this, demand for a universal Zika vaccine is at an all-time high, giving pharmaceutical companies tremendous incentive to deliver an effective vaccine. In addition to this, it's expected profits could potentially reach into the billions of dollars, making it an even more important task for various companies such as Sanofi, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, and GlaxoSmithKline.

Worldwide Demand

Even though the symptoms associated with the Zika virus are generally mild in nature, demand for a vaccine is quite strong due to the devastating birth defects it can cause in newborns. This, along with the fact that the virus is a worldwide epidemic, has led drug manufacturers to work at an accelerated pace to meet the demand of both American and European travelers. Because the virus has now been shown to be transmitted through sex, it's expected to spread throughout the world at a more rapid pace than previously expected, making people who are naturally alarmed about the virus even more anxious to have access to a vaccine.

When Could a Vaccine be Available?

According to most pharmaceutical companies, a vaccine for the Zika virus could be available worldwide within as little as two years. Because researchers have been able to study the virus in various capacities around the world, it's expected that even if the virus becomes virtually nonexistent in some parts of the world such as Latin America and the Caribbean, most people will still want a vaccine to protect them against the possibility of its return. Once the vaccine becomes available, millions of travelers from the United States and other wealthy nations are expected to be first in line for the vaccine, since most of these people will have access to employer-provided health coverage.

How Profitable Can the Vaccine be for Companies?

If as many people choose to receive the vaccine as experts predict will, it's estimated the vaccine may produce a minimum of $1 billion in profits for drug manufacturers. In fact, some companies have already started human trials in such hard-hit areas as Puerto Rico. If these trials go well, it's expected the vaccine will become standard fare for pre-pubescent girls to protect them from birth defects when they become pregnant later on, and could also be given to boys of similar age as protection for them as well as future sexual partners. However, even though the profits for the vaccine are expected to be so high, most manufacturers do expect to develop low-cost vaccines that will be easily delivered to people in endemic areas.

Drug Manufacturing Partnerships

Needless to say, for the development of a Zika vaccine to be as successful as possible, it will take partnerships worldwide between manufacturers and governments. Because this aspect is so vital, many companies are already engaging in this process. For example, Protein Sciences Corporation, one of the leading drug companies in the fight against Zika, already has partnerships in place with companies in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Japan, and is working closely with the Brazilian government to secure limited funding for clinical trials.
By realizing the critical aspects of this situation, drug companies as well as private investors and government agencies have come together to solve this growing problem. While Zika may currently be winning, there is no doubt it will cease to exist in the years to come.

Mark Sadaka from Vaccine Injury Help Center, the leading Vaccine Injury Attorney, has a national practice and works with clients from New York to Alaska.


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