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Global health

Unicef secures deal to buy pentavalent vaccine at half its current price

Shanelle Hall, director of Unicef's supply and procurement division

Source: John Zarocostas

Shanelle Hall, director of Unicef’s supply and procurement division, says Unicef now has the best access to the pentavalent vaccine since its launch 16 years ago

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has secured a deal to purchase the pentavalent vaccine — a combination of five vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type b — at an average price of US$0.84, half what the agency pays now.

Unicef announced on 19 October 2016 that it had reached agreement with six suppliers to buy 450 million doses of the vaccine, a cornerstone of routine immunisation programmes. Most of the vaccines will be allocated to the 73 countries supported by the Gavi vaccine alliance, a public-private partnership committed to increasing access to vaccines.

Shanelle Hall, director of Unicef’s supply and procurement division, says: “Through lower prices and multiple supply base, we have the best access since [the pentavalent vaccine] was launched 16 years ago.”

She also notes that the new pricing agreement will generate over US$366m in savings for donors and governments.

The manufacturers that have agreed to supply the pentavalent vaccine at the reduced price are: Biologica E Limited (India); Janssen Vaccines Corporation (India); LG Life Science Limited (South Korea); Panacea Biotec Limited (India); Serum Institute of India; and Shantha Biotechnics (India).

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201871

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