• Monday, Jan 18, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:48 am

AstraZeneca’s messaging warrants a review, too

  • Published at 01:03 pm November 28th, 2020
AstraZeneca vaccine
File photo: A test tube labelled with the Vaccine is seen in front of AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken on September 9, 2020 Reuters

It's vaccine partner, the University of Oxford released a statement that highlighted the average effectiveness of the remedy as 70% while AstraZeneca claimed 90%

AstraZeneca’s vaccine home run is in danger of turning into a curveball. The $134 billion drug giant is planning to review its Covid-19 vaccine candidate to clarify how effective it is. While it’s doing so, the UK group should probably do a separate review of how it communicates.

Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said on Monday that AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine could be 90% effective. That was the first data point in a statement released by the company, but referred to a result from a small part of the study accidentally obtained by using the wrong dosage. 

Meanwhile, the University of Oxford, its vaccine partner, released a separate statement that highlighted the average effectiveness of the remedy as 70% from two different dosing regimens. In fact, the most conservative number to use was a figure that appeared further down in both messages: 62%. That was the result obtained from two-thirds of the participants that took part in the trial.

It’s understandable why Soriot favoured the best-case scenario. Vaccine trial results from US peers Pfizer and Moderna showed stratospheric effectiveness of 95%. Yet AstraZeneca’s 62% equivalent remains impressive. It goes beyond the minimum 50% rate required by the US Food and Drug Administration.

In the current environment, careful communication is critical. As many as 40% of Americans are unwilling to take a Covid-19 vaccine, according to an October Gallup poll. Although drug giants have vowed not to profit from coronavirus jabs during the pandemic, the speed of the vaccine rollouts itself breeds wariness. Things will get even more awkward if AstraZeneca’s new review finds its vaccine is less useful than assumed.

Investors will be watching, too. AstraZeneca’s shares have fallen nearly 5% since it revealed its results on Monday. Big Pharma valuations are based on the ability to deliver new blockbuster drugs and developing a track record for delivering on your pledges is an integral part of the mix. AstraZeneca should bear that in mind when it gets the results of its latest review back.

Facebook 53
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail