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GSK offers UNICEF rotavirus vaccine

GSK has offered its rotavirus vaccine Rotarix to the GAVI Alliance at a reduced price following a UNICEF request

GSK has made a new offer to supply its rotavirus vaccine Rotarix to the GAVI Alliance at $2.50 per dose, in response to a UNICEF request.

The company has committed to supply 125 million doses of Rotarix to GAVI over next five years at a 95 per cent reduction of the price to developed Western markets to help meet the demand for rotavirus vaccination forecasted by UNICEF.

The offer will be reviewed by the charity and, if accepted, large scale vaccination against rotavirus could begin later this year. The offer made to UNICEF was developed in consultation with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Clinton Health Access Initiative with support from the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO).

Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development, said: "It is unacceptable that in the 21st century a child dies every minute of every day from diarrhoea, a preventable disease. I hugely welcome today's announcement from GSK to reduce their price of the vaccine Rotarix and urge other suppliers to follow suit and cut their prices. We are very clear that more affordable vaccines mean increased vaccination rates benefitting the world's children."

The commitment follows the announcement in March 2010 that GSK would supply its pneumococcal vaccine, Synflorix, to GAVI at a heavily discounted price through an innovative financing mechanism known as the advance market commitment (AMC). Rotavirus related diarrhoea and pneumonia are the two leading childhood killers in developing countries.

Vaccination against rotavirus has so far been successfully introduced in four GAVI eligible countries: Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia and Guyana. By securing a guaranteed supply of low priced high quality vaccines, this new offer would enable GAVI to expand rotavirus vaccination further, with the aim to cover more than 40 countries by 2015.

6th June 2011

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