A billion dollar vaccine

October 26, 2009

The Australian press has been reporting the government is spending $100 million on the swine flu vaccine.  That’s not exactly correct, in fact it is far from correct.  The hundred million in question was the initial government grant to CSL to develop the vaccine.

The actual cost of the program will blow out to over a billion dollars:

Government grant for vaccine development:  $100 million

Vaccine cost @ $US$20/A$23 = $483 million (From World Health Organisation website)

Estimated costs to administer vaccine using Medicare rebates as guide:
If administered by nurses @ $11.10 per dose = $233.1 million
If administered by doctors (short consult) @ $15.35 per dose = $322,350,000
If administered by doctors (long consult – necessary if patients need to fill in a consent form) @ $33.55 per dose = $704,550,000
Promotional campaign – press, radio TV – costs unknown
Total minimum cost (excluding advertising/promotion) $816,100,000 to $1,287,550,000

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