Performance Improvement 2007. How Is Influenza Vaccine Produced and Disseminated in the United States?



This project clarified our understanding of the system by which the United States produces and disseminates influenza vaccine. The system is marked by a complex set of relationships between the vaccine makers, sellers, buyers, healthcare providers and consumers as well as federal and state governments. The contractor prepared five issue briefs regarding these relationships. The intended audiences for the briefs included policymakers and others with an interest in, but limited knowledge of, these topics. For the initial issue brief, "Influenza Vaccine: Summary and Assessment," the contractor reviewed the subject area broadly and identified a number of important subtopics. It examined the roles and responsibilities of the influenza vaccine stakeholders. It described key issues relevant to influenza vaccine manufacturing and supply and outlined factors impacting purchasing and distribution of influenza vaccine. The contractor also presented a case study of the influenza seasons from 1999 through 2005 highlighting the important challenges that arose during each season. It discussed the impact of bioterrorism preparedness planning on influenza planning during that period, and presented key issues for consideration by policymakers.

For the remaining four issues briefs, the contractor looked in-depth at key areas summarized in the first issue brief. For the second issue brief, "Influenza Vaccine Economics," the contractor analyzed the characteristics of the influenza vaccine market; industry regulatory requirements for vaccine production; and factors affecting the profitability of vaccine production compared to producing other biologic products or pharmaceuticals. The contractor also considered factors affecting the decisions of individual suppliers about how much vaccine to produce in a given year and possible policy approaches to prevent future shortages of influenza vaccine. In the third issue brief, "Influenza Vaccine: Who Buys It and Who Sells It," the contractor considered the vaccine supply chain as well as potential means for facilitating vaccine purchase and distribution. For the fourth issue brief, "Influenza Vaccine Manufacturing," the contractor identified the unique characteristics of the influenza vaccine and discussed the structure of the vaccine manufacturing industry, the nature of the market, decisions about the amount of vaccine produced each year, investments in new technologies to produce vaccine, the implications of relying on global manufacturers for the U.S. domestic vaccine supply, and the factors that influence manufacturers' decisions to enter or exit the market. To prepare the final issue brief, "Influenza Vaccine Demand: The Chicken and the Egg," the contractor looked at the factors that impact the demand for influenza vaccine and how these factors can affect supply.

Report Title: Understanding the Dynamics of Influenza Vaccine Supply and Demand -- Five Issue Briefs
Agency Sponsor: ASPE, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Nevel, Amy, 202-690-7795
Performer: RTI International; Research Triangle Park, NC
PIC ID: 8476

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"PerformanceImprovement2007.pdf" (pdf, 717.63Kb)

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