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June 24, 1983

Prophylactic rabies vaccine dose, cost cut

JAMA. 1983;249(24):3283-3284. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330480007005

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Rabies prophylaxis will shortly become easier and considerably cheaper. The amount of Mérieux human diploid cell rabies vaccine (HDCV) given in three doses, before exposure, to those likely to be exposed to rabies because of their occupation or who live in rabies-endemic areas will be reduced from the current 1.0 mL per dose to 0.1 mL per dose. (The postexposure dosage, 5.0 mL given in five equal doses over a one-month period, will remain unchanged.) In turn, this will reduce the present $135 cost of the three-dose schedule to $45.

The Office of Biologics, Food and Drug Administration, is in the final stages of testing the HDCV lots for consistency and potency. "I think this will be completed sometime this month [June], but of course I can't be certain," said Pinya Cohen, MD, medical director and vice-president of the Mérieux Institute, Miami, in an interview with JAMA MEDICAL NEWS.