GSK statement on affordability of vaccines in developing countries
More children from the world’s poorest countries are being vaccinated against more diseases than ever before. This is a good thing and has been made possible by unprecedented cooperation between governments, NGOs and pharmaceutical companies.
Around 80% of all of GSK’s vaccines, including our pneumococcal vaccine, are provided to developing countries at a substantial discount to western prices. We offer our lowest prices to Gavi and UNICEF which can be as little as a tenth of developed world prices. At the same time, we have comprehensive vaccine research programmes in critical areas that affect poor countries such as malaria, TB, HIV and Ebola.
Many of our available vaccines are advanced and complex and require significant upfront capital investment to make and supply. Our pneumococcal vaccine is one of the most complex we’ve ever manufactured, essentially combining 10 vaccines in one. For Gavi-eligible countries, we are providing this vaccine at a deeply discounted price. At this level, we are able to just cover our costs. To discount it further would threaten our ability to supply it to these countries in the long-term. Nevertheless, we continue to look at ways to reduce production costs and any savings we make we would pass on to Gavi.
We also continue to look at other opportunities to support vaccination in developing countries. This year for example we committed to a five-year price freeze for countries that graduate from Gavi support due to increased economic wealth to help ensure that children can continue to be vaccinated. We also entered into an agreement to supply doses of our pneumococcal vaccine at a nominal cost to Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors without Borders (MSF) to immunise children caught up in ongoing crises.