Private sector makes new pledges to support childhood immunisation in developing countries

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Vaccine manufacturers and private firms set out commitments ahead of major Gavi conference

Industry and private sector leaders meet with Gavi and Bill Gates ahead of the Replenishment Conference in Berlin, Germany

Industry and private sector leaders meet with Gavi and Bill Gates ahead of the Replenishment Conference in Berlin, Germany. With industry support, Gavi is working to mobilise US$ 7.5 billion to save 5-6 million lives in the poorest countries of the world.
Credit: Gavi/2015.

Berlin, 26 January 2015 – Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance today welcomed new commitments from a number of private sector partners towards its mission to immunise children in developing countries.

The commitments - made by vaccine manufacturers and other private sector companies - will contribute towards Gavi's goal of immunising 300 million children in the world's poorest countries between 2016 and 2020, leading to five to six million lives being saved.

Pledging Conference

The announcements come on the eve of the pledging sessions of the Gavi Pledging Conference. The conference, being held in Berlin under the patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, aims to secure funding to ensure Gavi can reach its ambitious targets.

“It is encouraging to see vaccine manufacturers increasingly recognising the importance of sustainable vaccine markets for developing countries,” said Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley. “The commitments made today will help us make more vaccine doses available at a lower cost and will support countries as they move towards financing and sustaining their own immunisation programmes. This will lead to more children being protected and more deaths being averted.”

Commitments

The following commitments were announced today.

  • Biological E is offering a five-year price commitment to Gavi graduated countries for its pentavalent vaccine.
  • GSK extended it price freeze commitment so that developing countries that graduate from Gavi support will be able to continue to purchase vaccines against pneumonia, diarrhoea and cervical cancer at significantly discounted Gavi prices for a decade after graduation. GSK also reaffirmed that if the company identifies new manufacturing efficiencies that reduce the costs of producing these vaccines, it will pass those savings on to Gavi and its donors.
  • Janssen reaffirmed its pledge of making its pentavalent vaccine available at UNICEF prices to Gavi graduated countries over the next five years. Janssen also announced the launch of its pentavalent vaccine in cPAD, a compact Prefilled Auto-Disable injection system which helps improve injection safety.
  • Panacea Biotech extends its pledge, first made in June 2011, to support all Gavi graduated countries by offering a five-year price freeze on all vaccination programmes started with Gavi support. The price freeze commences from the first calendar year during which a country stops receiving Gavi support.
  • Pfizer agreed to reduce the price per dose for its pneumococcal vaccine, from US$ 3.30 per dose to US$ 3.10 per dose for the new 4-dose vial presentation, which is expected to be introduced under the Advance Market Commitment programme in 2016. This new lower price will be extended to all Gavi-eligible and graduated countries until the end of 2025.
  • Sanofi Pasteur committed to expand the production of yellow fever vaccine to address chronic shortages, and promised to offer Gavi-level pricing for Gavi graduated countries until the end of 2018. The company will also continue to contribute to the polio endgame by providing inactivated polio vaccine to Gavi countries for delivery in routine immunisation. The company also announced the expansion of its EPIVAC vaccinator training programme in Nigeria, in collaboration with Agence de Médecine Préventive.
  • Serum Institute of India reduced its price for their pentavalent vaccines supplied to Gavi that is valued at approximately US$ 50 million dollars over the next two years.

The commitments made today will help us make more vaccine doses available at a lower cost and will support countries as they move towards financing and sustaining their own immunisation programmes. This will lead to more children being protected and more deaths being averted.  

Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Ebola

Additionally, Merck and NewLink Genetics committed to provide their investigational Ebola (rVSV-EBOV) vaccine to Gavi-eligible countries at the lowest possible access price.

In a statement, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and & Associations (IFPMA) said: “Vaccines are recognised as one of the most cost-effective health interventions, with potential for substantive, positive impact on health, productivity, and well-being across the globe. IFPMA member companies are proud of their role to help support strong immunisation programmes through ensuring sustainable research and development, manufacturing and availability of high-quality vaccines.”

Sustainable vaccine markets

Sustainable vaccine markets for developing countries are a key part of Gavi’s mission. Before Gavi was formed in 2000 there was little incentive for manufacturers to offer vaccines at affordable, low prices to developing countries. Gavi’s purchasing power, which covers around 60 percent of yearly global birth cohort, means that it is able to provide a stable, sustainable market when negotiating low prices for vaccines.

The model has proved successful in increasing supply and reducing prices. Since 2010 there has been a 37 percent drop in the total cost of a package of three important vaccines – pentavalent, pneumococcal and rotavirus. Commitments by manufacturers to continue to allow countries to access these prices after Gavi support ends is a vital component of sustainable immunisation programmes.

The expansion of the private sector’s role in supporting Gavi is also bringing additional financing and new technical expertise to the address the challenges of ensuring vaccines reach children in developing countries.

Four new partnerships

Gavi today announced three new partnerships to support immunisation in developing countries:

  • Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundation of Saudi Arabia – Supporting Gavi through direct funding for vaccine purchases in Timor Leste, Kiribati, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Guyana.
  • Comic Relief – The popular United Kingdom (UK) charity announced that it will expand its partnership with Gavi into the United States in 2015 and has agreed to continue supporting Gavi through donations raised during its annual events, Red Nose Day and Sport Relief in the UK.
  • UPS – The global logistics provider will work with Gavi to leverage the expertise of its Global Healthcare Logistics Strategy Group to develop and implement an executive training and mentorship programme to enhance the capability of local supply chain leaders who will go on to build robust immunisation supply chains.

Gavi’s private sector partners play a key role in bringing new ideas and expertise to support our mission  

Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

In addition, last week at the World Economic Forum, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW), Star Syringe and Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices (HMD) all made commitments to support Gavi’s mission. The commitment from IFPW represents the first of its kind for the global pharmaceutical wholesale industry.

New ideas and expertise

“Gavi’s private sector partners play a key role in bringing new ideas and expertise to support our mission,” said Dr Berkley. “By bringing the best of the private sector to Gavi, together we are able to find innovative ways to solve the big challenges of immunisation, such as improving supply chains, and ensure that more children can be reached with vaccines.”

These new commitments coupled with pledges from existing private sector partners “La Caixa” Foundation, LDS Charities, the Lions Clubs International Foundation and matches from the Gavi Matching Fund amount to an estimated US$ 95 million, including US$ 18.2 million of in-kind contributions, will provide critical support for 2015 and Gavi’s next strategic period.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is funded by governments (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, the State of Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States), the European Commission, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as private and corporate partners (Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American plc., the A&A Foundation, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Comic Relief, the ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation, JP Morgan, Kuwait Youth Committee, “la Caixa” Foundation, LDS Charities, Lions Clubs International Foundation, UPS and Vodafone.

Click to view the full donor list.

US$ 1 = US$ 18

A study in Health Affairs covering 73 Gavi-supported countries over the 2011–2020 period shows that, for every US$ 1 spent on immunisation, US$ 18 are saved in healthcare costs, lost wages and lost productivity due to illness. If we take into account the broader benefits of people living longer, healthier lives, the return on investment rises to US$ 48 per US$ 1 spent.

Ozawa S, Clark S, Portnoy A et al. Return on investment from childhood immunizations in low- and middle-income countries, 2011-20, Health Affairs 2016

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