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Published by:
ESSEC Business School (2010)
Revision date:
21 pages
Data source:
Generalised experience


This is part of a case series. In January 2010, only a few months after rushing to order massive quantities of pandemic flu vaccine doses, many countries around the world decided to unilaterally cancel orders made to pharmaceutical companies. As the epidemiological impact of the pandemic proved to be significantly milder than anticipated, from the health authorities' point of view, a reviewable and reversible plan appeared to be consistent with the Precautionary Principle. On the other hand, from an industrial point of view, risk taking and investment levels were both considerable to meet public health emergency needs, which may justify a fair return on investment. To what extent would a unilateral revocation of these contracts by health authorities damage the vaccine industry and jeopardize trust in case of future pandemic crises? What type of agreement could be drawn up between public authorities and vaccine manufacturers?


Sanofi Pasteur; Vaccine; Vaccine production; Pharmaceutical; Pandemic flu; Precautionary principle

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