Sanofi kicks off a meningitis awareness campaign as Menactra sales fall
- Sanofi vaccine sales are down for the first quarter of 2014, with the meningitis/pneumonia vaccine hit especially hard.
- The company is attempting to counter this trend through awareness raising. One campaign features Olympic swimmer Dana Torres.
- Torres will do a multi-city tour to meet with mothers and their teenagers and swim laps and educate communities about this deadly virus.
Sanofi vaccine sales have been decreasing, with first quarter sales down 4.2%. The meningitis/pneumonia segment took a big hit, dropping 25% in the quarter, after a steep decline in sales in 2013. Sales of Menactra, which is given to adolescents in two doses to prevent meningococcal meningitis, declined 21.5% last year, despite the fact that this type of meningitis is most deadly in people between the ages of 15 and 24.
Each year, approximately 500 to 1,200 Americans die from meningococcal meningitis. Vaccination rates for the first shot are 74%, however, the booster rate is somewhere in the 30% range. To increase awareness, Sanofi has launched a campaign featuring Olympic swim champion Dana Torres. With planned visits to Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and New York, Torres will swim 24 laps with teenagers and their mothers---highlighting the fact that afflicted young people can die from meningococcal meningitis in as little as 24 hours.
- FierceVaccines Sanofi steps up meningitis marketing amid lagging Menactra sales
- voicesofmeningitis.org Teens at risk of meningitis