Vax manufacturers calculate H1N1 sales shortfall

With people shrugging off the swine flu pandemic around the globe, analysts are beginning to tot up the impact slack demand will have on the Big Pharma companies that raced to supply the world with a novel vaccine.

At Leerink Swann, Seamus Fernandez estimates that vaccine sales projections at GlaxoSmithKline are likely to fall short by about 100 million pounds. "A lower than expected H1N1 booking in 4Q is not too surprising given news flow over the past month that several European countries were cutting orders (notably Germany, France, U.K. and Spain)," Fernandez writes in a note published Monday.

The U.S. government now estimates that 61 million citizens have been vaccinated, something the CDC is chalking up as a success. But European governments have been trying to figure out what to do with their stockpiles of unused H1N1 vaccine, as demand fell far short of expectations.

- here's the report from Barron's