United States

CSL convenes industry and government leaders to discuss improving influenza vaccination rates and pandemic preparedness

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa., — 10/29/2015

Today, at Pennsylvania Bio’s Life Sciences Future conference, CSL Chief Executive Officer Paul Perreault convened a panel of industry, advocacy and government leaders to discuss opportunities to make improvements in U.S. influenza (flu) vaccination rates and pandemic flu preparedness.

“Thousands of people die each year from the flu, but they don't have to,” said Paul Perreault. “Being vaccinated is the best way to prevent flu, but we need to increase our vaccination rates and educate more people about the important role that vaccines play in protecting them and their families from this serious illness."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older as the best form of protection against flu; however, less than half of all eligible Americans were vaccinated against the flu during the 2014-2015 flu season. Flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths every season, according to the CDC.

“The U.S. flu season is a bit like an election. All Americans have a right to vote and by exercising that right, they make our nation stronger,” said Perreault. “But it comes down to an individual decision. Collectively, it’s our job to ensure each individual understands the risks of influenza and the available treatment options so he or she can make a well-informed decision.”

The panel assembled in Philadelphia at the Sheraton Downtown for the Pennsylvania BIO Life Sciences Future conference, where CSL sponsored free flu vaccinations for attendees and hosted Sixers Legend World B. Free, who spoke on the importance of flu vaccination. Free’s presence at the conference was a part of the CSL official partnership with the Philadelphia 76ers to promote flu vaccination.

“Government, industry, health care professionals and advocacy organizations must partner to educate families about the availability and importance of an annual flu vaccine, so that no one loses a loved one to the flu,” said panelist Diane McGowan, who lost her son Martin to the flu in February 2005 and now leads the M.A.R.T.I.N Flu Foundation in his honor.”

CSL has a long history, of producing flu vaccines to help protect the public, and a proven track record of delivering early, reliable vaccine supply to markets around the globe. In August 2015, CSL completed the acquisition of Novartis’ influenza vaccine business, which it integrated with its subsidiary, bioCSL, and which after November 9, 2015, will operate under the new name of Seqirus. The combined business will create the second largest influenza vaccine business in the US$4 billion global industry and will have manufacturing plants in the US, UK and Australia, a commercial presence in approximately 20 countries, a differentiated product portfolio and strong pandemic and pre-pandemic franchises.

As part of ongoing surveillance of human and animal influenza viruses, the CDC assesses for pandemic potential and develops preparedness tools that can aid public health practitioners in the event of a flu pandemic.

About CSL

CSL is a leading global biotherapeutics company with a dynamic portfolio of life-saving innovations, including those that treat hemophilia and immune deficiencies, as well as vaccines to prevent influenza. Since our start in 1916, we have been driven by our promise to save lives using the latest technologies. With more than 14,000 employees and operations in over 30 countries, CSL’s unique combination of commercial strength, R&D focus and operational excellence enables us to identify, develop and deliver innovations so our patients can live life to the fullest. CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.

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