Media February / March 2010

GSK Sells First HPV Vaccine in Japan

GlaxoSmithKline plc has started selling its cervical-cancer vaccine in Japan — the first such vaccine to be approved by Japan’s Ministry of Health, the Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun reported in December.

Cervarix prevents infection by the two most common cervical-cancer-causing types of human papillomavirus (HPV), [types 16 and 18], the main causes of cervical cancer.

The suggested list price of the vaccine, which is not covered by Japan’s national health insurance, is ¥12,000 (plus consumption tax) per dose. One dose is taken three times over six months.

Vaccines are not widely available in Japan because of concern about side effects, but the H1N1 influenza scare could change that, analysts in Japan and abroad have recently suggested.