[Ip-health] MSF launches global action against Pfizer and GSK to cut the price of PCV

Joanna Keenan joanna.l.keenan at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 09:03:05 PST 2015


*MSF launches global action against Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline to cut the
price of the pneumonia vaccine *


*MSF dumps $17 million in fake cash at Pfizer’s New York HQ, the amount the
company makes in one day of pneumonia vaccine sales*

*New York, 12 November 2015*—The international medical humanitarian
organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
launched a global petition today, World Pneumonia Day, calling on
pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to reduce the
price of the pneumonia vaccine to US$5 per child (for all three doses) in
all developing countries and for humanitarian organisations.

After years of fruitless negotiations with both companies to lower the
vaccine’s price for use in its projects in developing countries and in
humanitarian crises, MSF called on the public to help put pressure on the
companies. Pneumonia is the leading global cause of childhood death and
kills nearly one million children each year.

*SIGN THE PETITION AT **AFAIRSHOT.ORG* <http://afairshot.org/>


“The pneumonia vaccine is the world’s best-selling vaccine, and last year,
Pfizer brought in more than $4.4 billion in sales just from this product,”
said Dr Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director of MSF’s Access Campaign.
“Pfizer and GSK charge such high prices for the pneumonia vaccine that many
governments and humanitarian organisations aren’t able to vaccinate
children. After combined sales to date of more than $28 billion for the
pneumonia vaccine alone, we think it’s pretty safe to say that Pfizer and
GSK can afford to lower the price so all developing countries can protect
their children from this childhood killer.”

With Pfizer earning more than $17 million in sales per day from the
pneumonia vaccine alone, MSF kicked off the petition campaign on World
Pneumonia Day with a stunt outside the company’s headquarters in New York,
attempting to deliver more than $17 million of fake cash to Pfizer’s CEO
Ian Read. MSF also placed an advertisement in the bus stop shelter directly
in front of the Pfizer building, which posed the question: ‘Hey Pfizer, why
are your vaccines priced out of reach of children in need?’

In January, MSF released its vaccine pricing report, *The Right Shot:
Bringing Down Barriers to Affordable and Adapted Vaccines*
which showed that in the poorest countries, with the addition of new
vaccines,  it is now 68 times more expensive to vaccinate a child than in
2001, with many parts of the world unable to afford new high-priced
vaccines like that against pneumonia.

“As doctors who have watched far too many children die from pneumonia,
we’re not going to back down until we know that all countries can afford
the vaccine,” said Dr. Balasegaram. “We’re asking you to join our global
effort by signing the petition to tell Pfizer and GSK it’s time to drop the
price of the pneumonia vaccine.”

In May, 193 governments met in Geneva for the annual World Health Assembly,
where they unanimously passed a landmark resolution demanding more
affordable vaccines and increased transparency around vaccine prices. The
governments of over 50 countries underlined the rising inequities among
them caused by the increased financial burden of new vaccines, with many
stating the high price of new vaccines, such as the pneumonia vaccine,
either prohibited them from introducing it or threatened their ability to
sustain it in their routine immunization programmes.

“What’s the point of a life-saving vaccine if the most vulnerable people
can’t afford it?” asked Dr Balasegaram.

*SIGN THE PETITION **AFAIRSHOT.ORG* <http://afairshot.org/>


*Each year, MSF teams vaccinate millions of people, both as outbreak
response to diseases such as measles, meningitis, yellow fever and cholera,
as well as routine immunisation activities in projects where it provides
health care to mothers and children. In 2014 alone, MSF delivered more than
3.9 million doses of vaccines and immunological products. MSF has purchased
the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in the past for use in its emergency
operations. MSF is scaling up its use of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine
and other vaccines with a particular focus on improving its work in routine
immunisation, as well as extending the package of vaccines used in
humanitarian emergencies. MSF has vaccinated children caught in emergencies
with PCV in Central African Republic, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Uganda.*

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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