The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said today it has agreed with GlaxoSmithKline of Britain to cancel part of their H1N1 flu vaccine deal because of a larger-than-expected surplus.
The agreement concerns 23.68 million doses of vaccine for the H1N1 virus, or 32 percent of the 74 million doses the pharmaceutical company had agreed to supply under a contract with the Japanese government.
The ministry began talks on the cancellation in January after the new-flu epidemic showed signs of abating in Japan. No cancellation fee is required and about 25.7 billion yen will be saved, ministry officials said.
The ministry is currently in talks with Novartis of Switzerland to cancel part of another deal for 25 million doses of H1N1 vaccine.
Roughly 50 million doses have been shipped to Japan out of the 99 million doses the country had planned to import from the two companies. Of the total, about 40 million doses have been shipped to domestic medical institutions with the rest scheduled to be stockpiled.