Sanofi Pasteur MSD First Vaccine Company to Participate in Pilot for Rapid European Health Technology Assessment

LYON, France, October 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Sanofi Pasteur MSD is the first vaccine company to have successfully participated in a pilot testing a new rapid relative effectiveness assessment of health technologies in Europe.

The 'Rapid Relative Effectiveness Assessment' pilot is being run by a unit within the European Network for Health Technology (EUnetHTA), a network of 47 European health technology assessment organisations working together to develop a methodology for an efficient, collaborative process for assessing the value and effectiveness of new health technologies.

Sanofi Pasteur MSD, Europe's leading vaccine company, submitted their new shingles vaccine Zostavax® as a candidate for review by the network in April 2013 - the first rapid assessment of a pharmaceutical product or vaccine. The assessment was completed in about 4 months and the outcome will now be shared with all EU member states to help facilitate local assessments.

Andrea Rappagliosi, Vice President, Market Access, Health Policy and Medical Affairs for Sanofi Pasteur MSD, stated "Our collaboration with EUnetHTA provides us the opportunity to work with an HTAagencies network who shares our commitment to drive improvements in healthcare systems throughout Europe. Agreeing to run the first Rapid Relative Effectiveness pilot on a vaccine addressing an unmet medical need is another tangible sign of the increasing attention that European authorities give to prevention".

Zostavax® is the first and only vaccine available for the prevention of shingles and its complications such as post-herpetic neuralgia for adults over 50 years*. The assessment concluded that Zostavax is effective in reducing the frequency of new shingles cases and its complications and has a good safety profile. The EUnetHTA report was published on September 23rdon the network's website**.  

Sanofi Pasteur MSD is a joint venture between Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine division of Sanofi, and Merck, known as MSD outside the USA and Canada. Sanofi Pasteur MSD is the only company in Europe dedicated exclusively to vaccines and is able to draw upon the research expertise of Sanofi Pasteur and Merck to develop innovative new vaccines to improve disease prevention across Europe.