Statement from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. regarding availability of Bexsero®, a meningitis B (MenB) vaccine, in Quebec

Meningitis B (MenB) Vaccine Availability in Quebec

DORVAL, QC, Feb. 25, 2014 /CNW/ - Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. ("Novartis") would like to provide an update on the availability of Bexsero®, in light of the tragic news of another Quebec adolescent succumbing to meningitis B (MenB). Bexsero ®, a MenB vaccine indicated to help protect children aged two months to 17 years of age, was approved in December 2013 by Health Canada1. As of today, the vaccine is now available to Health Care Practitioners.

Novartis is working to ensure that the vaccine will be available throughout Quebec, including in the area of the Saguenay where prevalence of MenB disease is highest in Canada. We encourage parents to talk to their doctors about MenB and Bexsero®.

Bexsero® is the first and only broad coverage vaccine to help protect individuals from MenB disease who are at the greatest risk of infection, including infants, toddlers and adolescents.2

Since 2003, Quebec has seen an increase of meningococcal disease caused by MenB3. From 2009 to 2011, MenB was responsible for 61 per cent of all deaths caused by meningococcal disease and accounted for 100 per cent of all laboratory-confirmed cases that occurred among infants under one year of age and 94 per cent of cases in individuals from 1 to 24 years old.3

Meningococcal disease caused by MenB is the most common cause of meningococcal disease in Canada.2

1 BEXSERO™ Product Monograph. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., December, 2013
2 National Advisory Committee on Immunization. (2013) Update on the use of Quadrivalent Conjugate
Meningococcal Vaccines. Canada Communicable Disease Report. January 2013; Vol. 39, ACS-1.
3 Gilca, R. et al. The Changing Epidemiology of Meningococcal Disease in Quebec, Canada, 1991-2011: Potential Implications of Emergence of New Strains. November 2012. Volume 7. Issue 11.

SOURCE: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

For further information:

Patricia Tiramani  
Novartis Pharma Communications 

Andrée-Anne Pelletier  
Weber Shandwick
514 466-1579

Daphne Weatherby
Weber Shandwick
514 294-6279

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