It has arrived. Vaccine production in the non-union Durham, NC facility has been cleared by FDA — could begin as soon as tomorrow. And that will inexorably lead to additional shifting of capacity — from higher cost West Point, to lower cost Durham. It is the way of things I am afraid. But no one can say they are surprised, in Pennsylvania — here’s my latest 2010 backgrounder on it.
And here’s a bit of the Street Insider report on it — do go read it all:
. . . .“The licensure of the Durham varicella bulk facility marks a significant milestone for Merck and adds additional manufacturing capabilities to an already strong Merck vaccine network,” said Willie Deese, president, Merck Manufacturing Division. “The Durham facility will help us meet the increasing global demand for our quality vaccines that enhance health care for millions around the world.”
“Producing more of our chickenpox and shingles vaccines means we can help protect more children and adults against these diseases,” said Julie Gerberding, M.D., president, Merck Vaccines. . . . Prior to this licensure, all global bulk supplies for Merck’s varicella-containing vaccines were produced at the company’s facility in West Point,PA. . . .
We will, of course, keep you posted.