Aid for vaccines is subsidising Big Pharma, doctors claim | Sarah Boseley

From Aid | The Guardian Mon Feb 4 2013, 05:14:31

MSF concerned that immunisation schemes in poor countries are unsustainable, and often unsuitable for hot climates

Large sums of public money intended to ensure children in the developing world are immunised against disease are effectively being used to subsidise Big Pharma, doctors working in the field claim.

Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the Nobel prize-winning organisation working on the frontline in remote and conflict areas, says vaccines bought with UK and other donor governments' money cost too much and are not designed for the needs of hot and impoverished countries. When the pot of money subsidising the high prices of western pharmaceutical companies runs out, developing world governments will not be able to afford the vaccines and children will continue to lose their lives, MSF says.

MSF is concerned that the deals between the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), to which the UK was the biggest donor last year, and pharmaceutical companies such as the British giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer in the US, are not transparent and do not have inbuilt sustainability.

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