Cervical cancer vaccine prices cut for developing countries

Two global drug companies have teamed up with the GAVI Alliance to cut the price of cervical cancer vaccines to less than US$5 a dose in developing countries. The new record low price should mean that millions of girls in some of the world’s poorest countries will be protected against the human papillomavirus (HPV).

GlaxoSmithKline and Merck (MSD outside of the US and Canada) have both been awarded a significant portion of the UNICEF HPV vaccine tender in order to provide the vaccinations.

  • GSK is to provide a supply of Cervarix® (Human Papillomavirus vaccine [Types 16, 18] (Recombinant, adjuvanted, adsorbed)) to four new GAVI demonstration projects at a significantly discounted price of $4.60 per dose.
  • Merck expects to provide a sustained supply of approximately 2.4 million doses of GARDASIL® [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant] to GAVI-eligible countries between 2013 and 2017.

GAVI is expected to support the introduction of HPV vaccination in 28 countries by the end of 2017.

“A vast health gap currently exists between girls in rich and poor countries. With GAVI’s programmes we can begin to bridge that gap so that all girls can be protected against cervical cancer no matter where they are born. By 2020 we hope to reach more than 30 million girls in more than 40 countries. This is a transformational moment for the health of women and girls across the world. We thank the manufacturers for working with us to help make this happen.”

Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance.

“Cervical cancer is a significant issue especially in poorer countries where the availability of screening is limited. We are pleased to be expanding our commitment to GAVI by delivering our Cervarix® vaccine to help protect girls in the developing world. This continues our significant commitment to make our vaccines accessible to as many people as possible, no matter where in the world they live. We hope that this will help reduce the burden of cervical cancer and positively impact future generations.”

Christophe Weber, President and General Manager, GSK Vaccines.

Following a 2009 report, the World Health Organization recommended that routine HPV vaccination be included in national immunization programs to help prevent cervical cancer and other HPV-related diseases. An estimated 500,000 women develop cervical cancer annually around the world, with about 85% of cases occurring in developing countries. Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer among women worldwide. 



Related news:

Merck, GSK cut price of cervical cancer shots for poor countries (Reuters)

Prices Cut for Cervical Cancer Vaccines for Neediest (New York Times)

Reference links:

GSK press release

Merck press release

GAVI Alliance press release


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