INTERVIEW-Vaccines alliance wants more industry price cuts

Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:38pm GMT

* GAVI chair expects more movement on prices from drugmakers

* Calls on donors to invest in "best buy in global health"

By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent

LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - The pharmaceuticals industry must do more to cut prices of key vaccines for developing nations and close the gap with rich nations for access to them, the new head of an international vaccine-buying alliance said on Monday.

Dagfinn Hoybraten, chair of the GAVI Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation since January, said he believed drug companies would bow to pressure to cut prices for vaccines that can protect against some of the biggest killers of children in poor countries.

"We need to see vaccine prices come down further," Hoybraten told Reuters in an interview. "We will work with the vaccine industry and ... our partners to produce vaccines at lower cost."

GAVI buys and distributes vaccines for developing countries.

It faces a shortfall of some $3.9 billion over the next five years to continue providing life-saving five-in-one shots for children in poor countries and to roll out new vaccines for pneumonia and diarrhoeal diseases, the two biggest killers of young children in the world.   Continued...

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