GSK agrees to cut Dutch H1N1 vaccine order
* Ministry says GSK reduces order by 3 mln vaccines
* Novartis not prepared to reduce order-Dutch
AMSTERDAM, May 12 (Reuters) - British drugs firm GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L has agreed to reduce a contract for the supply of H1N1 flu vaccines to the Dutch government, cutting the order by 30 percent and saving the Netherlands 21 million euros.
The government said in March it wanted to sell 21 million unused H1N1 flu vaccine doses back to their manufacturers after they proved unnecessary and no other country wanted to buy them. [ID:nLDE6250C8]
The Health Ministry said on Wednesday that talks had been held with both GSK and its second supplier Swiss pharma company Novartis (NOVN.VX: Cotización) since November, but Novartis had not been prepared to reduce the size of its contract.
GlaxoSmithKline had been contracted to supply 9 million vaccines and has agreed not to supply 3 million.
In June, the Dutch government had decided buy 34 million H1N1 vaccines at the height of global flu pandemic fears and eventually distributed almost 11 million of them. A further 2.2 million doses will be held in stock.
The government decided to sell the leftover vaccines to other countries, entering into agreements to sell a total of 257,000 doses to Estonia, Macedonia, Suriname and Lithuania.
Although it will discuss possible sales with other countries, the Netherlands said it does not expect to sell large amounts of doses. (Reporting by Aaron Gray-Block; Editing by Louise Heavens)
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