WHO seeks new mechanism for crisis vaccine supplies at low cost - (London South East via NewsPoints Desk)

  • The World Health Organization is seeking a new system with drugmakers and humanitarian groups for supplying critical vaccines during crises at lower costs, as reported London South East Wednesday.

  • Under the new mechanism, under which UK company GlaxoSmithKline agreed to provide its pneumonia vaccine PCV-10 at the lowest price possible, WHO will request similar price reductions from other drugmakers such as Merck & Co. and Pfizer.

  • The idea is that this will set a model in place for other manufacturers to put their vaccines on the table," remarked Medecins Sans Frontieres medical coordinator Greg Elder.

  • Drugmakers that participate will supply their products at prices equivalent to those received by UNICEF and GAVI, although the vaccines will only be available to non-governmental organisations and humanitarian groups.

  • "We're talking about a very specific cohort - refugees, displaced populations, people who have gone through a lot of trauma and have had to flee their homes," Elder explained, continuing "it's a small group of people who are caught in the middle of emergencies and can fall through the gaps. And it's a minute fraction of [drugmakers'] global market."

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