[Ip-health] MSF releases Right Shot report on vaccine prices and urges GSK & Pfizer to slash PCV price to $5 per child

Joanna Keenan-Siciliano joanna.l.keenan at gmail.com
Tue Jan 20 08:13:36 PST 2015


Today Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) released the second edition of its
vaccine pricing report, The Right Shot: Bringing Down Barriers to
Affordable and Adapted Vaccines. The report shows that between 2001 to
2014, the introduction of new vaccines – including those against
pneumococcal and diarrhoeal diseases, and cervical cancer – has pushed the
cost of a full vaccines package up by 68-fold in the poorest countries,
with the pneumococcal vaccine accounting for 45% of the total cost.

MSF calls on pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer to
slash the price of the pneumococcal vaccine to US$5 per child in developing
countries. This call comes ahead of next week's Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance
replenishment conference conference in Berlin where donors will be asked to
put an additional $7.5 billion dollars on the table to pay for vaccines in
poor countries for the next five years. Over one third of that will pay for
the high-priced pneumococcal vaccine alone.

For more information and to read the full report (in English) please see
here:
https://www.msfaccess.org/about-us/media-room/press-releases/msf-calls-gsk-and-pfizer-slash-pneumo-vaccine-price-5-child-poor

Please find press release below:


MSF calls on GSK and Pfizer to slash pneumo vaccine price to $5 per child
for poor countries ahead of donor meeting

New MSF report reveals countries struggle with skyrocketing vaccine prices
amidst market shrouded in secrecy


Geneva, 20 January 2015—Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today called on
pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer to slash the
price of the pneumococcal vaccine to US$5 per child in developing
countries, ahead of a major vaccination donor conference in Berlin. Today,
MSF released the second edition of its vaccine pricing report, The Right
Shot: Bringing Down Barriers to Affordable and Adapted Vaccines, which
shows that in the poorest countries, the price to vaccinate a child is now
a colossal 68 times more expensive than it was in 2001, with many parts of
the world unable to afford new high-priced vaccines like that against
pneumococcal disease, which kills about one million children each year.

Download the full report here:  www.msfaccess.org/rightshot2

“The price to fully vaccinate a child is 68 times more expensive than it
was just over a decade ago, mainly because a handful of big pharmaceutical
companies are overcharging donors and developing countries for vaccines
that already earn them billions of dollars in wealthy countries,” said
Rohit Malpani, Director of Policy and Analysis for MSF’s Access Campaign.
“Donors will be asked to put an additional $7.5 billion dollars on the
table to pay for vaccines in poor countries for the next five years, with
over one third of that going to pay for one vaccine alone, the high-priced
pneumococcal vaccine; just think of how much further taxpayer money could
go to vaccinate more children if vaccines were cheaper. We think it’s time
for GSK and Pfizer to do their part to make vaccines more affordable for
countries in the long term, because the discounts the companies are
offering today are just not good enough.”

The pneumococcal vaccine alone accounts for about 45% of the total cost to
vaccinate a child today in the poorest countries (the full package includes
protection against 12 diseases). GSK and Pfizer have collectively reported
over $19 billion in sales globally for the pneumococcal vaccine since its
launch.

MSF is therefore urging GSK and Pfizer to reduce the pneumococcal vaccine
price to $5 per child (inclusive of all three doses), which is only
slightly less than the $6 price target ($2/dose) announced by the Indian
manufacturer Serum Institute for a version it plans to bring to market in
the next few years.

MSF’s report—one of the only sources of comparative pricing on vaccines
available—shines a light on the secretive vaccine industry and the striking
lack of data on vaccine prices. Country health budgets are stretched by
high prices because there is limited information to inform negotiations
with companies, industry purposely conceals prices, there is a lack of
market competition, and pharmaceutical companies charge wildly different
prices in different markets for the same product.

“We have an irrational situation where some developing countries like
Morocco and Tunisia are paying more for the pneumococcal vaccine than
France does,” said Kate Elder, Vaccines Policy Advisor for MSF’s Access
Campaign. “Because of the astronomical cost of new vaccines, many
governments are facing tough choices about which deadly diseases they can
afford to protect their children against.”

More than a quarter of the countries currently eligible for donor support
through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance will lose it starting next year, after
which they will be left to pay about $10 per child for the pneumococcal
vaccine, which is unaffordable for many countries. Gavi estimates that when
countries lose access to Gavi’s $10-per-child price, they could end up
paying six times as much for the pneumococcal vaccine.

Angola is one country that will lose donor support in less than a year – in
2014, more than half of Gavi support for new vaccines in the country went
to pay for the pneumococcal vaccine alone. Once the country loses support,
its bill for new vaccines will rise by over 1,500%. Similarly, over 60% of
Gavi’s support to Bolivia is wrapped up in the cost of the pneumococcal
vaccine, and the Bolivian government’s payment will increase by over 700%
when it loses support. Indonesia’s payment will increase by 1,547%.

“Governments need to put pressure on companies to offer better prices to
Gavi and the countries it supports,” said Elder. “We need to put public
health before profit—life-saving vaccines for children shouldn’t be big
business in poor countries. In one week, donors will gather in Berlin to
pledge more money for vaccination, so we’re asking GSK and Pfizer to hurry
up and cut the price of the pneumococcal vaccine before then.”

Notes to editors:
Morocco pays US$63.70 and Tunisia $67.30 for the pneumococcal vaccine
(PCV), while France pays $58.40. Morocco and Tunisia prices are those paid
in hospitals and public institutions; France’s price is the manufacturer
price (before it enters the wholesale and retail distribution network).
Prices quoted are for Pfizer’s PCV13.  This data is published in MSF’s new
report, The Right Shot: Bringing Down Barriers to Affordable and Adapted
Vaccines, a landscape analysis of vaccine accessibility, now available
online at: www.msfaccess.org/rightshot2

Each year, MSF teams vaccinate millions of people, largely as outbreak
response to diseases such as measles, meningitis, yellow fever and cholera.
MSF also supports routine immunisation activities in projects where we
provide healthcare to mothers and children. In 2013 alone, our programmes
delivered more than 6.7 million doses of vaccines and immunological
products. MSF is scaling up its vaccination activities with a particular
focus on improving its work in routine immunisation, as well as extending
the package of vaccines used in humanitarian emergencies. In the year
2012–2013, MSF had a 60% increase in the number of doses administered in
its projects.




Joanna Keenan
Press Officer
Médecins Sans Frontières - Access Campaign
P: +41 22 849 87 45
M: +41 79 203 13 02
E: joanna.keenan[at]geneva.msf.org
T: @joanna_keenan

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