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Report says 'golden era' of vaccines under threat

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry has said that a leading academic has forewarned that a potential 'golden era' for vaccines may be under threat
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has said that a leading academic has forewarned that a potential 'golden era' for vaccines may be under threat. The announcement comes just a month after the industry association revealed that people in the UK were not confident in the pharma sector, according to the ABPI survey.

A report by Professor Louis Galambos of John Hopkins University warns that a period of rapid vaccination research expansion could be thwarted as governments attempt to cut costs - a move that too could jeopardise the future of R&D investment.

Galambos said: "The world is on the verge of a new golden age in vaccines research, but there are grave threats to this bright future."

"Pressure to reduce healthcare costs, such as is happening in the UK at the moment, and the decline of health insurance protection in America are two examples of the thinking that could have this effect," he added.

Galambos did say, however, that a second prosperous period for vaccinations research could be on the horizon if certain conditions are met. They include continuing support for the scientific process of R&D, counter attacks from politicians and other lobby groups that, as he claimed, do not take into consideration the long-term goals of pharma R&D.

"If governments try to treat a research-based, innovative industry in the same way as if they were buying paperclips it will have dire consequences. Last time this 'commoditisation' of the market occurred, the number of major vaccine producers dropped sharply," Galambos concluded.

18th April 2008

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