Campaign Launched to Cut Price of Penumonia Vaccine

Friday, April 24, 2015

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) today launched a global campaign—‘A FAIR SHOT’— is calling on pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer to slash the price of the pneumonia vaccine in developing countries to US$5 or less per child. Pneumonia kills one million children every year, but MSF is warning the high price of the vaccine is preventing some countries from protecting their children.

MSF is also calling on the pharmaceutical companies to be transparent about the amount they charge countries for the vaccine. Not only do the companies refuse to share this information, they also work to prevent countries from disclosing the price they pay for this lifesaving vaccine.

“In an era of increased transparency it is absurd that the pharmaceutical industry is still able to keep the prices they charge for lifesaving vaccines secret”, explains Dr Manica Balasegaram, director of access to medicines at MSF. “At the moment, governments and humanitarian organisations have to negotiate a price for themselves, entirely in the dark, without any idea of what others are paying. Many are then forced to sign confidentiality clauses”.

In around 45 countries, there is no information available about the price for the pneumonia vaccine. As a result of this lack of transparency, some middle-income countries find themselves paying more for the pneumonia vaccine than wealthy ones, for example ¦¦¦¦ pays more than France and some countries pay multiple times more than others: South Africa pays almost three times more than¦¦¦¦ * (answers below).

Source: OneWorld (link opens in a new window)

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