Back in October and November at the onset of flu season, things weren't looking so good for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and its marketing partner MedImmune. Sales of their groundbreaking new FluMist nasal spray influenza vaccine weren't meeting expectations. Pessimists in the analyst community blamed its high price tag—$40 per dose—and distribution challenges that included keeping the vaccine frozen throughout the supply chain.
Well, one of the worst flu seasons in decades changed all that. Now it appears that a shortage of traditional injection vaccines, sparked by the highly publicized deaths of four children in Colorado, combined with a well-coordinated effort to get the spray vaccine to hospitals and doctors' offices could boost FluMist sales over the 1 million mark.
FluMist, as faithful readers of DC VELOCITY know (see our cover story in September), contains a live, albeit weakened, flu virus. For that reason, many believe that it may well provide even better protection than the traditional shot in the arm.