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BMJ Examines Emergence Of China As 'Major New Player' In Global Vaccine Production

“The Chinese drug industry is on the verge of getting the green light to manufacture the Japanese encephalitis vaccine for the developing world, an event that will signal the emergence of a major new player in global vaccines,” BMJ reports. Seth Berkley, chief executive of the GAVI Alliance, “said that by the beginning of next year Chinese drug firms will be ready for World Health Organization representatives to carry out pre-qualification inspections of production of the vaccine,” the journal writes, adding, “Once those inspections are carried out, United Nations agencies and other non-governmental organizations will be able to purchase the vaccine for countries that do not have their own regulatory systems.”

“Berkley hopes that the emergence of China as a supplier of vaccine to developing countries will strengthen the vaccine market by reducing the cost of vaccines, ensuring a greater range of suppliers, and widening choice,” BMJ writes, noting, “Berkley was speaking to the BMJ after returning from China, where he met the Chinese health minister and drug companies to discuss collaboration on vaccine production.” According to the journal, “China has been using the vaccine for the domestic market for many years and has exported it to countries in Asia, including India,” but “this will be the first time that Chinese manufacturers will have had a vaccine given the green light by WHO, thus enabling use of the vaccine in developing countries” (Gulland, 9/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.