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Sunday, February 01, 2015

PneumoADIP: An Example of Translational Research to Accelerate Pneumococcal Vaccination in Developing Countries - The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 22, No. 3

The Guardian's recent publication: "Help us crowdsource vaccine prices around the world" outlines the need for pneumococcal vaccination prices to be cut. It is suggested by the aid agency, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), that due to the domination of the two main pharmaceutical companies (GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer) and thus the lack of competing forces within the market, that this has essentially created a monopolistic market for vaccines. This situation has allowed the companies to price the vaccines at a substantially higher price per vaccine, creating a situation in which it is not sustainable for developing countries to provide adequate vaccination care to children. A call to these companies to fix their prices at five dollars per vaccine, per child, for developing countries, is strongly suggested by the MSF in order to counter this ongoing problematic situation.

Levine et al., in their journal: "PneumoADIP: An Example of Translational Research To Accelerate Pneumococcal Vaccination in Developing Countries" echoes this need, as well as provides a theoretical model for future success of public-private coordination and vaccine distribution. It is suggested that the introduction of new vaccines in developing countries has largely been delayed due to a lack of coordinating efforts to address both supply and demand issues. Further, is the fact that the introduction of vaccines in developing countries has been plagued by a vicious cycle of the uncertainty of demand, which has lead to limited supply output, which keeps prices substantially higher, and in turn, leads to an uncertainty of demand in the longterm. 

To overcome this problem, the authors of the study suggest using the Pneumococcal Vaccines Accelerated Development and Introduction Plan (PneumoADIP), which will assure an affordable and sustainable supply of vaccines within the developing countries. Translational research will be important in achieving the goals of PneumoADIP by concretizing the burden of pneumococcal disease and establishing the value of vaccines regionally, as well as on a global scale. If correct, the PneumoADIP will reduce the uncertainty of demand, allow appropriate planning of supply, and attain acceptable and affordable availability of product for the introduction of pneumococcal vaccines within developing countries.

Using this model could provide a useful example and valuable lessons for how a successful public-private partnership can improve global health.

For this journal and others from this issue, click here.

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