Friday, January 30, 2015

MSF report on Vaccine pricing

There are many obstacles to effective and proper access to health technologies (be them medicines, vaccines or diagnostic kits) high pricing being a major one; furthermore, lack of transparency of pharmaceutical markets and the disparity of prices offered from one country to another by pharmaceutical companies makes the bargaining process by State authorities much harder.
That´s why the second edition of MSF vaccine pricing report, released on January 20th is so valuable.We have included the accompanying text provided by MSF and uploaded the full report in the Reports sections. As usual, hyperlinks and background information from this blog, @OnadaExpansiva and other sources have been included at the end of the post.

New MSF report reveals countries struggle with skyrocketing vaccine prices amidst market shrouded in secrecy 
The Right Shot: Bringing Down Barriers to Affordable and AdaptedVaccines, 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.
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%.

Further Information
MSF responds to Pfizer announcement of pneumococcal vaccine price reduction MSF Access Campaign January 25th 2015
Bill Gates dismisses criticism of high prices for vaccines Sarah Boseley The Guardian January 27th 2015
Gavi Receives Record-Breaking Financial Pledges For Vaccines Catherine Saez
IP-Watch January 29th 2015

In the blog

Through @OnadaExpansiva