Big Pharma Pricing Pneumonia Vaccines Out of Reach

Friday, November 13, 2015

A child dies every 35 seconds from pneumonia leading to the deaths of about 1 million children every year from the disease, according to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).These deaths are easily preventable with a vaccine that too few people are receiving.

According to MSF, one of the biggest problems is the price of the vaccines, which are only made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer.

Today, the cheapest set of pneumonia vaccines costs about $10 per child and can be as expensive as $190 in places like Tunisia. The humanitarian group points out that the price to vaccinate a child is now 68 times more expensive than in 2001.

In response, MSF launched a global petition this week calling on Pfizer and GSK to reduce the price of the pneumonia vaccine to $5 per child (for all three doses) in all developing countries.

The petition is part of their wider campaign called A Fair Shot, which is trying to pressure pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of the drugs and remove the secrecy behind the pricing, particularly in the developing world.

According to MSF, Pfizer and GSK have grossed $26 billion in the last six years alone from selling the pneumonia vaccine. This breaks down to around $11.9 million a day generated from the world’s most purchased set of preventative shots.

Source: RYOT (link opens in a new window)

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