GAVI, Gates Deploy Industry-Favoured Incentive For Vaccines To Poor Countries12/06/2009 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)IP-Watch is a non-profit independent news service and depends on subscriptions. To access all of our content, please subscribe now. You may also offer additional support with your subscription, or donate.Major public health funders have alighted upon an industry-favoured approach of guaranteeing certain prices to industry to make vaccines available to least-developed country markets. The pilot project announced on 12 June provides nearly $3 billion to make (presumably patented) vaccines against pneumococcal disease available sooner to the world’s poorest countries.The pilot will use the so-called Advanced Market Commitment mechanism and is intended to stimulate “late-stage development and manufacture of suitable vaccines at affordable prices,” according to a 12 June press release from the GAVI Alliance, a public-private partnership.Through an AMC, GAVI said, “donors commit money to guarantee the price of vaccines once they have been developed, thus creating the potential for a viable future market. These commitments provide vaccine makers with the incentive to invest the considerable sums required to conduct research and development and build manufacturing capacity.”The governments of Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, and Norway and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed US$ 1.5 billion and the GAVI Alliance promised to allocate $ 1.3 billion through 2015. There will be a commitment by industry to continue offering the vaccines at “lower and sustainable” prices after the funding runs out, GAVI said.The current pneumococcal vaccine is sold for more US$70 per dose in industrialised countries, GAVI said. The AMC will make the “long term” price for developing countries US$3.50, it said. GAVI said it hopes to assist up to 60 of the world’s poorest countries to introduce these vaccines by 2015, well ahead of the time it might be without subsidising industry.“Pneumococcal disease takes the lives of 1.6 million people each year,” including up to one million children younger than 5 years old, said GAVI. More than 90 percent of these deaths occur in developing countries. Pneumonia, the most common form of serious pneumococcal disease, accounts for one in every four child deaths, making it the leading cause of death among young children.The AMC approach had been pushed by industry over the past two years in the World Health Organization intergovernmental working group on intellectual property, innovation and public health (IGWG).A WHO working group on R&D financing for diseases disproportionately affecting developing countries is set to meet from 29 June to 1 July.Funding mechanisms for drug research and development that have been floated in the IGWG process in the past include public-private partnerships, prizes for innovators and advanced market commitments (IPW, 10 October 2007).Industry regularly says it prefers to bolster public-private partnerships to help it pay for research and development into drugs for which there are small markets. The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) has in the past said it wants to preserve strong intellectual property protection, which it says promotes innovation, and instead focus on market incentives outside of IP, such as advanced market commitments and “fast track” approval for drugs targeting developing country diseases (IPW, Public Health, 2 May 2008).“This innovative new model will mean faster access to vaccines for millions of children in poor countries,” Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said in the release. “It’s a great example of how innovation and technology together can produce life-saving advances and make them available to people who need them around the world.” Gates was reportedly at the WHO in Geneva this week.[Editor’s Note: Médecins Sans Frontières issued a statement in reaction raising questions over whether the initiative really targets innovation since it targets a vaccine that “was coming to market anyway.” MSF statement here. ] Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)RelatedWilliam New may be reached at email@example.com."GAVI, Gates Deploy Industry-Favoured Incentive For Vaccines To Poor Countries" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.