Drugmakers Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline signed a landmark 10-year deal on Tuesday to supply 60 million doses a year of cut-price pneumococcal vaccines to developing nations (Reuters). The deal, brokered by the Geneva-based Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), is the first under a new scheme called an Advance Market Commitment (AMC) which guarantees a market for vaccines supplied to poor nations but sets a maximum price drugmakers can expect to receive.
GAVI estimates that the introduction of new vaccines against pneumococcal disease — which causes serious illnesses such as pneumonia and meningitis — could save around 900,000 lives by 2015 and up to seven million lives by 2030. GAVI said it plans to introduce pneumococcal vaccines in 47 countries by 2015.
This AMC deal could pave the way for future deals on recently introduced vaccines against rotavirus, which causes severe diarrhea, and an experimental treatment against malaria, which combined kill millions in poor countries each year.
The AMC scheme was devised to try to encourage drug companies to make and supply medicines and vaccines to boost health in poorer countries, which are generally unable to afford the treatments. Both Pfizer and Glaxo expressed interest in future AMC deals, saying they are committed to tiered pricing structures to ensure their drugs can get to the people who need them most.
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