Starting now, and for the next 10 years, developing countries will start receiving pneumonia vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer Inc.
GAVI Alliance, the public-private partnership based in Geneva, recently announced this new commitment. The program GAVI established to treat pneumococcal disease initially received $1.5 billion in funding, which came from the Italian, U.K., Canadian, Russian, and Norwegian governments, and from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
This new development promises to put new affordable vaccines in the hands of people that need them urgently. GAVI states that the pneumococcal disease, which includes pneumonia, kills 1.6 million people per year, 800,000 of which are children under the age of five. Over 90% of the deaths take place in developing countries, where pneumonia ends the life of one in every four children.
GAVI established the ‘Advance Market Commitment’ program to make drugs available to people in need, affirming that vaccines that are affordable could save 900,000 lives by 2015 and 7 million lives by 2030.
Glaxo will deliver 30 million doses and Pfizer an equal amount, for the next 10 years.
Pfizer is enhancing its manufacturing capacity to meet the global demand and to deliver Prevenar 13, which can be used in infants and small children throughout more than 40 countries.
Jeffrey Kindler, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, affirmed that “Pfizer is dedicated to broadening access around the world to our medicines, and public-private partnerships such as the one involving the Advance Market Commitment are critical to achieving true inroads on this front.”
Glaxo announced it invested over $400 million to build a manufacturing plant in Singapore that will be devoted to producing hundreds of millions of doses of Synflorix, the drug it will be delivering, in the next years.
These vaccines will start being sold at $7 the dose, however, the price will drop to $3.50 and will remain so for the long run. The vaccines will be paid by GAVI and the developing countries they will benefit.
According to GAVI, the total cost of the pneumococcal vaccines is only a fraction of their current cost in many industrialized countries.
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