Government reaches deal with GSK over meningitis B vaccine

The government has reached a deal with drug maker GlaxoSmithKline to provide all babies in the UK with a potentially life-saving vaccine against meningitis B, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced.

The agreement follows recent controversy over the Bexsero MenB vaccine after it emerged it was still not available to children despite being recommended by health advisers a year ago.

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GSK 'aiming to minimise delays to infants getting vaccine'

Drug manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have said their aim is to "minimise further delays" to infants getting access to the meningitis B vaccine.

A spokeswoman for the company, who have taken over the supplying of the vaccine from the original drug company that developed the medicine, said:

"We are committed to reaching a rapid conclusion to negotiations so that the meningitis B vaccine can be made available to babies in the UK.

"GSK has moved quickly following the recent acquisition of the vaccines business from Novartis, aiming to minimise further delays to infants getting access to the vaccine.

"We are confident our proposal, which is significantly below the list price, offers fair value for the NHS."

– GSK Spokeswoman

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Hunt: Hopeful of meningitis vaccine deal 'very soon'

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he is hopeful a deal can be reached "very soon" with the manufacturers of a vaccine that protects children against meningitis.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended the Bexsero MenB vaccine should be made available to children last year.

But the Department of Health has been "in deadlock" with the original drug firm over a cost-effective price for the vaccine.

Campaigners have called for it to be introduced as soon as possible "to save lives".

Mr Hunt said there had been some "real movement" in reaching a fair price since the original drug company that developed the vaccine had been taken over by GSK.

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