One dose of Prevnar 13 costs nearly $130 in the US, but as part of an Advance Market Commitment (AMC) for developing countries, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline have slashed the price of hundreds of millions shots of their blockbuster pneumococcal vaccines to little over $3.
The AMC is a new funding approach administered by the GAVI alliance, and is designed to stimulate the development and distribution of new vaccines in developing countries. Donors make financial commitments and in turn pharmaceutical companies make a commitment to provide vaccines at a reduced price. This innovative financing mechanism gives pharmaceutical companies an incentive to invest in vaccine research and development in poor countries.
The AMC pilot project against pneumococcal disease became operational in 2009, bringing together donors such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Norway and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with GAVI Alliance partners World Bank, UNICEF and the WHO.
In 2010, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer were the first two pharmaceutical companies to make long-term commitments to the pneumococcal AMC. From 2010 to 2012, a total of 101 million doses of the two AMC-eligible pneumococcal vaccines had been procured and delivered under the AMC – scaling-up from 7 million in 2010 to 36 million in 2011 and then 58 million in 2012. It's been estimated that in the same time period, more than 10 million children received the vaccine, with a hope that more than 75 million children will be vaccinated across 57 countries by 2015 (AMC annual report 2012-2013).
By 2020, more than 1.5 million deaths could have been averted thanks to the program.
This latest commitment from Pfizer of 260 million doses is in addition to the 480 million doses of Prevnar 13 already committed through two previous Supply Agreements. “Strong vaccination programs are a cornerstone of economic development – a simple intervention that has dramatic short and long term impact on health," said Susan Silbermann, president, vaccines at Pfizer. "Since first offering Prevenar 13 through the AMC in 2010, we have continued to support this revolutionary public health program that helps those most in need of potentially lifesaving vaccinations.”
GlaxoSmithKline will also be increasing its commitment to the GAVI alliance through the AMC, providing an additional 240 million doses of its pneumococcal vaccine Synflorix. This builds on the 480 million doses it has already committed.
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