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Drug firms cut vaccine prices to the developing world

first_img Sharing is caring! Tweet Share HealthLifestyle Drug firms cut vaccine prices to the developing world by: – June 6, 2011 Sharecenter_img 30 Views   no discussions Share The vaccines will be sold at a price that covers the drugmakers’ costsSeveral major drugs companies have announced big cuts to the amounts they charge for their vaccines in the developing world.GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Merck, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi-Aventis have agreed to cut prices through the international vaccine alliance Gavi.GSK said it would cut the price of its vaccine for rotavirus by 67% to $2.50 (£1.50) a dose in poor countries.Rotavirus-related diarrhoea kills more than 500,000 children a year.The vaccine will be subsidised by higher prices being charged in richer countries.The rotavirus vaccine, for example, would cost about $50 in the US.‘Helped out’“What we need is a return to invest in the next generation of new vaccines and drugs and that has to come from the profits of the medicines or the vaccines,” Andrew Witty, chief executive of GSK told the BBC.“But it’s obvious that if you’re in Kenya or a slum in Malawi or somewhere like that there is no capacity for those people to contribute to it, so they have to be helped out by the contribution from the middle and the richer (countries).”Gavi is a partnership representing public and private sector organisations that helps to fund mass vaccination programmes in developing countries.It is committed to funding the introduction of rotavirus vaccinations in 40% of the poorest countries by 2015, but it faced a $3.7bn funding shortfall and so has been appealing for price cuts and donations.It will be holding a pledging conference in London on 13 June.Anti-poverty campaigners welcomed the move but also called on world leaders to act.“The pricing commitments announced today help drive momentum, but Gavi’s ambition to save four million lives in the next five years is only achievable if the international donor community steps up to the plate on 13 June,” said Jamie Drummond, executive director of campaign group ONE.Malaria vaccineMerck has said it will provide its own rotavirus vaccine for $5 a dose, coming down to $3.50 once more than 30 million doses have been sold.The price Gavi pays for pentavalent vaccines, which protect against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type B will be cut by two Indian firms, Serum Institute and Panacea Biotec.GSK also said it was very close to developing the world’s first malaria vaccine, which is unusual because there is no market for it in the West.That means there is no opportunity for patients in richer countries to subsidise those in poorer countries.As a result, GSK said that if the vaccine comes to market it would be sold at a price that provides a small return of 5%, which would be used to fund the next generation of malaria treatments.Save the Children called on other companies to replicate the “landmark move” which it said could prevent hundreds of thousands of “needless deaths”.“It’s important that Gavi now uses this to spur other vaccine producers to reduce prices and work to foster greater competition amongst producers to drive prices down even further and help even more children,” said chief executive Justin Forsyth.BBC Newslast_img read more

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President Michel Platini commits future to UEFA

first_imgUEFA President Michel Platini has committed his immediate future to UEFA, and has announced his intention to seek a third term of office as President of the European governing body in 2015.Speaking in Monaco on Thursday, where he is attending the kick-off events to mark the new European club competition season, Mr Platini ended speculation that he would be standing as a candidate for the FIFA presidency next year by saying that he had “chosen to follow my heart. I have chosen football. I have chosen passion.”The UEFA President informed the presidents and general secretaries of UEFA’s 54 member associations of his decision at a meeting ahead of his announcement. “I want to finish what I have started,” Mr Platini added, referring to the progress made in European football since he took the helm at UEFA in 2007, as well as to various projects which are ongoing and planned for the future.”As you have seen,” the UEFA President explained, “we are working on some very important projects at UEFA, and I still want to see them through before considering one day moving on to pastures new. This is not the time, it is not my time. Not yet.”I want to finish what I have started. A bit like when I was a player, and I always saw my contracts through to the end, to honour my commitments. Now is no different. I want to see my contract with UEFA through to the end. And if the associations want that too – and from what I saw this morning, they sincerely do – I still have a few years before my contact expires.”Mr Platini said he had taken time to reflect before making his decision. “I thought long and hard,” he said, “but never managed to convince myself during these months of reflection that I had to go to FIFA for these elections. It’s as simple as that. Once again, I have chosen to follow my heart. I have chosen football. I have chosen passion.” The UEFA President went on to say that he had no doubts or regrets in taking this decision. “I take it serenely and with conviction because it feels like the natural, obvious choice,” he emphasised. “And I am keener than ever to develop football in Europe ever further, and to defend with vigour the interests of European football and the European associations on the world stage.”Whether it is the number of places given to European teams at the World Cup, defending the sovereignty of the European associations, the international match calendar or solidarity revenue: European football knows that it can count on me to be at the forefront on these issues.”Because what matters here is not me or my feelings. What matters is the future of UEFA, and of football. UEFA and European football have never been as strong and powerful as they are today and I have every intention of guarding this supremacy.”last_img read more

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