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GSK and Pfizer extend vaccine access programme

Pharma companies lower price of pneumococcal vaccines for developing nations

GAVI Alliance logo

Two pharma companies have extended commitments to provide patients in poor areas with access to medicines.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer are both working with the GAVI Alliance to provide patients in developing nations with access to their respective pneumococcal vaccines.

The companies initially agreed a deal with the GAVI Alliance in March 2010, where each company committed to supply 30 million doses of vaccines every year for a 10-year period at a cost of $3.50 per vaccine.

The updated agreements will now see Pfizer provide its Prevenar 13 vaccine at a cost of $3.40 for the rest of 2013 before a further reduction to $3.30 for the rest of the deal's duration.

GSK will provide Synflorix at a cost of $3.40 per dose up to 2024, with the company claiming it will help protect an additional 80 million children from pneumococcal disease, which is estimated to kill 1.6 million people each year.

The deal is conducted through UNICEF as part of the Advance Market Commitment (AMC) – a programme to accelerate the development of new healthcare products and bring them to developing nations.

The AMC has backing from the governments of Italy, the UK, Canada, Russia, Norway and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who have together committed $1.5bn to the programme since 2009.

“Strong vaccination programmes are a cornerstone of economic development – a simple intervention that has dramatic short and long term impact on health,”said Susan Silbermann, president, vaccines at Pfizer.

“Since first offering Prevenar 13 through the AMC in 2010, we have continued to support this revolutionary public health programme that helps those most in need of potentially lifesaving vaccinations.”

However, some critics have commented the commitment doesn't' go far enough, with healthcare charity Médecins Sans Frontières claiming the discount – which amounts to 3 per cent – was “meagre”.

“Pfizer and GSK could have offered a much steeper price reduction on the PCV vaccine, given we believe the cost of production is significantly lower than the price, and that the total value of GAVI contracts for PCV already amount to more than $6bn.,” said MSF's vaccines policy adviser Kate Elder.

"Pfizer and GSK are still reaping the benefits of the Advanced Market Commitment subsidy – 73 per cent of the $1.5bn subsidy has been promised to the companies.”

Elder commented that another unnamed pharma company was looking to offer a vaccine at $2 a dose, although it would be several years before this was available.

She also raised concerns that MSF was not involved in the pricing negotiations.

“MSF is unable to systematically access the PCV vaccine at the GAVI negotiated prices, meaning vulnerable children, including refugees, continue to miss out on the benefits of PCV and other new life-saving vaccines.”

30th July 2013

From: Sales, Healthcare

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