WHA 70: Statement of Knowledge Ecology International – Global vaccine action plan

On Monday, 29 May 2017, Knowledge Ecology International delivered the following intervention on the Global vaccine action plan. The statement was delivered by James Love.

14.1 Global vaccine action plan


In the report by the Secretariat in document A70/25, none of the recommendations made by the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts reflect a concern regarding pricing, or suggest that moving toward delinking prices from R&D rewards should be considered. Simply increasing domestic financing without addressing prices is not a sustainable solution.

Right now in the United States, the U.S. Army is developing a Zika vaccine. The U.S. government itself conducted and paid for the pre-clinical research and a phase I trial. The US government will give $43 million to Sanofi for phase II trials, with an option for an additional $130 million to conduct phase III trials if needed.

Most of the persons living and unborn most at risk live in countries where high prices create barriers to access. Access will be limited in the United States as well, if payers balk at paying and the Congress implements policies which effectively eliminate health insurance for more than 20 million persons.

The WHO should ask the U.S. Army for a license for the Zika vaccine in countries where affordability and access are at risk.

In general, the WHO R&D Observatory should collect data on all public subsidies for vaccine development, and all licenses, pricing and access agreements relating to these vaccines, as well as data on the R&D costs associated with the development of the vaccine. The WHO Observatory should also publish data on the quarterly sales of every vaccine, so economists can better study the reasonableness of pricing and the cost efficiencies and efficacy of existing incentives.

We support the sharing of samples to open-access bio-repositories as suggested in the RnD Blueprint from document A70/10, and the samples should include cell lines, hybridomas, cloning vectors and plasmids, and peptides.

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