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MSF Claims Aid For Vaccines Subsidizing Pharmaceutical Companies, Guardian Reports

“Large sums of public money intended to ensure children in the developing world are immunized against disease are effectively being used to subsidize Big Pharma, doctors working in the field claim,” the Guardian reports. “Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) … says vaccines bought with U.K. and other donor governments’ money cost too much and are not designed for the needs of hot and impoverished countries,” the newspaper writes, adding, “When the pot of money subsidizing 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 [GAVI Alliance], to which the U.K. was the biggest donor last year, and pharmaceutical companies such as the British giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer in the U.S., are not transparent and do not have inbuilt sustainability,” the Guardian states. “MSF is not at all against GAVI, but wants transparency, says” Manica Balasegaram, executive director of the MSF Access Campaign, according to the Guardian. “Seth Berkley, chief executive of the GAVI Alliance, rejects the criticism and says the organization is working to fashion a market for vaccines in poor countries that has not existed previously, and that will result in competition, eventually leading to lower prices,” the newspaper writes (Boseley, 2/4).