by Christina England
June 7, 2011
According to an article released in the Times yesterday, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) have linked up none other than GlaxoSmithKline to sell cheap, left over vaccines.
How the scheme works is by GAVI agreeing to purchase significant volumes of vaccines over a number of years – in this case 125 million doses of Rotarix between now and 2016.
UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron is due to host the GAVI conference in London next week to discuss how to raise more than £2.25 billion for immunization programmes over the next four years. This is because GlaxoSmithKline have lowered the price of their rotavirus vaccine for the third world.
Andrew Witty, chief executive for GlaxoSmithKline told the Times that the drug companies decision to offer the vaccine at a ‘heavily’ reduced cost as ‘not a gimmick or one off philanthropic gesture but part of a concerted strategy to change their business model’. adding that ‘that the people must come before profits’.
Witty went to explain how diarrhea is the largest killer of the under 5′s in the third world and that the new pricing structure is to allow the vaccine to be sold to the poorest nations at a fraction of the price. He said that government aid funding alone would never meet the funding needs of these people.
Full link to the Times article is not available for free but a piece of the article can be found here http://www.presswatch.com/health/index.php?d=2011-06-06#5
All very noble of them considering that Rotarix vaccine was suspended around the world last year because it contained the DNA from pigs in it. What GlaxoSmithKline are actually offering, are vaccines at a reduced price to the third world because the take up has been so low in the Western world due to reduced confidence in the vaccine.