Doctors Without Borders urges lower vaccine prices
Addas Abada, Ethiopia | 26 February 2016

Vaccine prices are skyrocketing in Africa, according to Doctors Without Borders, but the situation is not being adequately addressed by politicians.

The charity has complained that the first ministerial meeting on vaccines in Africa on 24 February did not have the issue of the prices of adequately available vaccines on the agenda, despite it being one of the key barriers to protecting children against killer diseases.

“Doctors Without Borders has struggled to introduce new vaccines due to their high price,” commented Dr Myriam Henkens.

“We’re frustrated that we’re unable to provide some of the most critical vaccines to our patients because they remain priced out of reach.”

Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline have made more than $30 billion in sales from the pneumonia vaccine, but refuse to lower the price in developing countries, according to Doctors Without Borders.

“If vaccine prices continue to spiral out of control, we will continue to see countries in Africa and around the world faced with difficult decisions about which deadly diseases they can and can’t afford to protect their children against.”

Pfizer responded in a statement: “Pfizer is committed to working with the global health community to improve access to our vaccines for people living in the world’s poorest countries on an affordable and sustainable basis.”

“As part of this, we work with many partners including Gavi, the Vaccines Alliance, UNICEF and others to provide access to our vaccines to these countries at the lowest price available.”

GlaxoSmithKline has yet to respond to a request for comment.

Author: Tammy Facey

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