Want to get maximum publicity for your drug launch? Have your nation's leader announce it. Most newspapers in India carried the story of the launch of a locally made vaccine, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
To be sure, Bharat Biotech's oral Rotavac for preventing rotavirus is India's first locally made vaccine for the virus and is to be the world's cheapest at less than a $1 a dose in a three-dose regimen. And there are only two other rotavirus vaccines on the global market.
Rotavirus is a major disease in India, which claims half the world's cases; the resulting diarrhea kills nearly 80,000 children under the age of 5 years annually. Rotavac was tested on 10,000 children in that age group and was shown to be 56% effective in the first two years and protective against several strains.
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