As a young Mom waaaay back when (the kids are teenagers now), I always made it a point to follow my kids’ vaccination schedule as per advice by their pediatrician. It is important to have your child vaccinate to protect them against diseases. When the child is fully vaccinated there is a lesser chance of contracting preventable diseases and also stop the spread of such diseases in your own family.
I can’t emphasis enough the importance of having your child vaccinated. Lets’ face it. Not everyone can afford the whole range of vaccines needed to protect your child from preventable diseases, duh we live in the Philippines.
That is why when I was invited by Mommy Bloggers Philippines to Doctors without Borders /Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) event, I was excited to learn more about their #AskPharma campaign.
Dubbed as A Fair Shot, Doctors without Borders ask Pharmaceutical companies to lower the prices of their Pneumonia Vaccine.
Pneumonia is a very common acute respiratory infection that affects the lungs, it is treatable, curable and preventable. It just cost a lot of money to have a child vaccinated. Parents in Indonesia and Philippines for example are paying $ 150 (7,050php) to $300 (14,100php)* for Pneumonia vaccines! As a developing country even with government subsidy these prices are too just to expensive.Pneumonia kills One Million Children world wide every year.
Ultimately MSF wants Pfizer and GSK (the only two Pharmaceutical companies who produce the pneumonia vaccine to lower the price to $5 (235php)* per child in ALL developing countries (for three doses, the required full vaccination).
Our collective voices, yes that includes you my sweet readers will make a big difference. By increasing pressure on Pfizer and GSK to make the prices transparent and more affordable for developing countries. With the correct price information, developing countries and humanitarian agencies have the necessary tools to negotiate for better and more reasonable prices.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance released an evaluation that concluded the price it pays for pneumonia vaccine is likely way above the cost to make it.
According to vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India, they plan on selling the vaccine for $6 per child (for all three doses) when it finally brings its version to the market (when the patent is made available for other companies to reproduce).
For MSF, life saving vaccines should not be sold for huge profit in developing countries. Companies have a responsibility to reduce vaccine prices and lower the overall cost to immunize a child. Today, even the lowest price for the poorest country cost 68 times more than it did in 2001. Nearly half of that is due to the high price of pneumonia vaccine alone. Pfizer and GSK have collectively reported more than US$25 Billion in global sales for the vaccine! It is no wonder the rich Pharmas are getting richer!
I say it wouldn’t hurt for they to give back, they can actually afford it. Don’t you agree?
Doctors without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent, medical and humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. They offer assistance to people based on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.
MSF actually had a similar campaign with the HIV/AIDs treatment they bought down the prices from $10,000 to $100 per year. They can do this with our support!
How can we all help?
Spread the word. Sign the petition here. They need at least 200,000 signatures.
So what are you all waiting for? Click on the link above or go here : http://www.afairshot.org/#phil
*this with the exchange of 47php to $1Until next time!