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Pfizer lowers price of pneumococcal vaccine, but MSF seeks long-term commitment to access to medicine

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Article
16 November 2016

MSF pushes pharmaceutical companies to lower vaccine prices in an effort to improve long-term access to medicine

Author: Jason Cone, Executive Director, Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

"There is no such thing as “free” vaccines: Why we rejected Pfizer’s donation offer of pneumonia vaccines", 9 Oct 2016

 …As the only producers of the pneumonia vaccine, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) are able to keep the price…artificially high…[W]e have been trying to negotiate with the companies to lower the price…but they offered us donations instead… Donations often involve numerous conditions and strings attached…[They] can also undermine long-term efforts to increase access to affordable vaccines and medicines… [P]harmaceutical corporations can use this as justification for why prices remain high for others…[T]he…WHO and other leading global health organizations…have clear recommendations against donation offers from pharmaceutical corporations...Pfizer and GSK assured us that they would work on a longer-term solution for children caught in crisis and developing countries…GSK announced that it would offer its pneumonia vaccine to humanitarian organizations at the lowest global price…This is an important step towards a sustainable solution for humanitarian organizations that wish to extend the benefits of pneumonia vaccination to children caught in crisis...We can no longer live in a world where a vaccine that protects children against pneumonia is a luxury… 

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Article
16 November 2016

Pfizer lowers price of pneumococcal vaccine for NGOs working in developing countries

Author: Ed Silverman, Pharmalot

"After a long battle, Pfizer drops the price of its Prevnar vaccine to humanitarian groups", 11 Nov 2016

…Pfizer has lowered the price of its pneumococcal vaccine to non-governmental organizations that supply poor countries. The company will sell the newest version of its Prevnar 13 vaccine for $3.10 a dose….[T]he price drop comes after a protracted dispute with Doctors Without Borders…The nonprofit has repeatedly criticized Pfizer for failing to lower its price and make it more widely available to humanitarian organizations that work in poor and developing countries…In a report…Doctors Without Borders maintained pneumococcal vaccines were 68 times more expensive than in 2001 and attributed 45 percent of the increased cost to pricing. GlaxoSmithKline also sells a vaccine but recently agreed to lower its price and make it available to humanitarian groups. Pneumococcal disease kills about 1 million children per year, mostly in poor and developing nations…Doctors Without Borders does plan to accept the offer once details are reviewed, such as any stipulations on the amount of vaccine that must be purchased…

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