A new ABPI Vaccine Group has replaced the UK Vaccine Industry Group (UVIG), which represented UK vaccine companies for more than a decade.
Changes in the composition of the group include the addition of AstraZeneca and the loss of Sanofi Pasteur MSD.
The ABPI Vaccine Group will work in partnership with the new Public Health England and NHS England bodies to support UK immunisation programmes.
The new industry group has six members: Abbott Healthcare Products, AstraZeneca, GSK, Janssen, Novartis and Pfizer.
The disbanded UVIG also had six members: Baxter Healthcare, GSK, Novartis, Solvay, Sanofi Pasteur MSD and Wyeth (a subsidiary of Pfizer).
Sanofi Pasteur MSD, the manufacturer of Gardasil – recommended by NICE for immunisation against cervical cancer – plays a major role in the UK’s public health vaccination programmes.
Vaccination is an increasingly important strategy in global health protection, as ease of travel has made infectious diseases harder to control. According to the World Health Organisation, vaccines save 2.5 million lives each year.
Stephen Whitehead, Chief Executive of the ABPI said: “This addition to the ABPI strengthens the unity of the biopharmaceutical industry and further underlines the ABPI’s position as the leading life sciences trade association in the UK.”
“Vaccinations against disease play a vital role in improving public health and help protect us from preventable illnesses.”