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Foreign Drugs

Pfizer, Glaxo Sign on to Provide Vaccines for the Poor

by Toby Roberts on March 25, 2010

Last Tuesday, drug makers Pfizer and Glaxo signed a ten year deal to provide vaccines at a reduced cost to poor, developing nations. The deal sets the supply of pneumococcal vaccines at 60 million per year for a ten year period.

The deal was set up by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) and is the first test of their Advance Market Commitment (AMC) plan. The project was started as a way to provide drug makers with a fixed market in developing countries in exchange for fixed maximum costs for the products.

Both drug makers have agreed to sell the vaccines at $7 per dose for the first 20 percent and $3.50 per dose for the remaining 80 percent. In developed countries the same vaccines are sold for anywhere from $54 to $108 per shot. The project is partly funded by various governments as well as a large donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. GAVI is hopeful that it will provide a model for similar agreements for vaccines for illness such as rotavirus and malaria.


Importing Drugs Reenters Healthcare Debate

by Toby Roberts on December 4, 2009

Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) will bring an amendment to vote this week to allow importing of prescription drugs from Canada to lower the cost of healthcare reform. The amendment would override an agreement between the White House and pharmaceutical companies in which the industry agreed to payback billions of dollars in rebates to the government to help fund the healthcare bill.

Despite the potential to turn large pharmaceutical companies into opponents of reform, Dorgan believes the amendment has a good chance of passing. If he is able to put together bipartisan support and gain at least 60 votes he will be successful in adding the amendment to the reform bill. Dorgan notes that the amendment would keep drug prices low without the necessity of negotiation between the government and big name pharmaceutical companies.


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