Gavi Receives Record-Breaking Financial Pledges For Vaccines 29/01/2015 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (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)Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, boasted success this week as its biennial replenishment conference attracted US$ 7.5 billion in pledges, which is the organisation said is expected to allow 300 million additional children to be vaccinated in poor countries. The vaccine industry pledged support for “strong” immunisation programmes, while public health advocates called for significant price reduction in vaccines. Created in 2000, Gavi is a public-private initiative with “the shared goal of creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries,” according to the alliance. The third Gavi pledging conference was held in Berlin on 26-27 January, and raked in “record-breaking” financial commitments, the alliance said in a release. As a result, they said, some six million more lives could be saved, and developing countries could enjoy economic benefits between US$80 and US$100 billion “through productivity gains and savings in treatment and transportation costs and caretaker wages.” China made a pledge for the first time, the alliance said, meaning that all BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) are now contributing. Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were also newcomers to the list of pledging countries. Among the largest contributors was the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which announced a US$1.55 billion commitment for 2016-2020, “bringing our total commitment to Gavi since 2000 to more than US$4 billion,” Bill Gates said in his address. “[That is] money well spent to create the world we want for all of our children.” The Gates contribution is close behind the most important contributor in new pledges: the United Kingdom, with US$1,573 billion. The list of pledges came from a mix of government donors and private sector partners, according to the alliance. Four Strategic Goals 2011-2015 Gavi has four strategic goals for 2011-2015, the first of which is to “Accelerate the uptake and use of underused and new vaccines by strengthening country decision-making and introduction.” The second goal is to “Contribute to strengthening the capacity of integrated health systems to deliver immunisation,” while the third is “Increase the predictability of global financing and improve the sustainability of national financing for immunisation.” The fourth and final goal is to “Shape vaccine markets to ensure adequate supply of appropriate, quality vaccines at low and sustainable prices for developing countries.” Pharma Sector, MSF Reaction The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) in a 26 January statement, said at the pledging conference that “the vaccine manufacturers, represented by IFPMA are proud of the role that research-based vaccine manufacturers play to support strong immunization programs by ensuring sustainable research and development, as well as manufacturing and availability of high-quality vaccines.” However, remarked the representative, “innovation does not exist in a vacuum. Achieving our shared goals requires an enabling environment that is conducive to technological innovation and investment in continuous improvement.” From the advocacy side, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors without Borders) said, “MSF is pleased that donor countries and private foundations have pledged additional funds to buy vaccines for children in poor countries,” Kate Elder, MSF vaccines policy advisor, told Intellectual Property Watch. “Immunization is key to reducing child mortality and we see its impact every day in our programmes,” she said. “However, with renewed financing comes renewed responsibilities. Gavi and donor countries need to make better use of taxpayer money and push pharmaceutical companies to reduce their vaccine prices much further.” “So far, pharmaceutical companies have made limited commitments consisting mainly of temporary price freezes and several insignificant price reductions,” she said. “The price of new vaccines is an increasing burden for developing countries and MSF will continue pushing for more affordable vaccines.” Image Credits: Flickr – RIBI Image Library Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (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) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Gavi Receives Record-Breaking Financial Pledges For Vaccines" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.