6 Things Pharma Says vs. The Truth
Pharma Talk #1:
What they mean is that the lowest price for a single dose of the pneumonia vaccine is $3.30 (available for Gavi countries). It takes at least 3 doses to fully vaccinate a child against pneumonia, so even at the lowest price, it costs nearly $10 per child.
Pharma Talk #2:
So even though the official price for Gavi-eligible countries is $10 per child, they actually get up to $21 per child thanks to a $1.5 billion subsidy from donor countries.
Pharma Talk #3:
This is actually for a new vaccine vial which dispenses 4 doses, rather than 1 dose per vial, making the manufacturing costs cheaper anyway.
Pharma Talk #4:
The majority of the world's poor people increasingly live in ‘middle-income’ countries which can’t afford the pneumonia vaccine.
Pharma Talk #5:
Instead of getting the discounted prices offered to Gavi, which we have tried to negotiate for more than five years, the companies have offered unsustainable donations. MSF and all humanitarian organisations should be able to purchase vaccines at the lowest global price. We don’t want charity, we want solutions!
Pharma Talk #6:
Actually, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that vaccine prices be public and transparent. Countries at the World Health Assembly this year passed a resolution on access to vaccines, which called on all governments to "provide, where possible and available, timely vaccine price data to WHO for publication, with the goal of increasing affordability through improved price transparency, particularly for the new vaccines.” Countries believe that transparency around vaccine prices help them negotiate lower deals.
MSF has recently launched a global public campaign, A Fair Shot, to put pressure on the pharmaceutical companies, GSK and Pfizer, to drop the price of the pneumonia vaccine to US$ 5 a child (for all three doses). If you’d like to add your voice to the campaign, follow this link: