Swine flu outbreak could translate into PR coup

The swine flu outbreak may be just what the pharma marketing folks need to help in their makeover of a badly tainted image.

A few years ago the vaccine industry was in disarray. But big manufacturers have jumped into the field, investing huge sums and pushing more efficient manufacturing processes. As a result, flu vaccine production has been greatly expanded and many of these global operations stand to reap a huge PR reward if they can meet expectations during this outbreak.

"It's not really about earnings accretion in 2009, it's about political goodwill with governments across the world for addressing one of the most acute public health concerns in recent history," said UBS pharmaceuticals analyst Gbola Amusa. "That political goodwill is exceptionally valuable for these pharma companies."

- read the report from the Guardian