Devex Examines Implications Of WHO Pre-Approval For Chinese-Manufactured Vaccine

“The first-ever pre-approval by the [WHO] of a Chinese-manufactured vaccine has ‘opened the door’ for Chinese producers to supply low-cost drugs and vaccines to developing countries, according to Steve Davis, president and CEO of PATH,” Devex reports. “Davis hopes the approval of a low-cost, easy to administer Japanese encephalitis vaccine known as ‘JE SA 14-14-2’ — and which PATH helped shepherd through WHO’s regulatory process — will pave the way for national vaccination campaigns in Asian countries to fight the debilitating, often fatal disease,” the news service writes, adding, “In an exclusive interview with Devex, he added the announcement suggests some Chinese manufacturers are more interested now than in the past in exporting health commodities to low-income countries.”

“That could mean lower prices for global health organizations and governments, as well as new opportunities to scale up other health and vaccination campaigns,” Devex notes. “China’s entry into the export market for low-cost health products could spell greater competition in the sector and lower prices, making the difference between a program that is donor-supported and an ongoing national vaccination campaign,” the news service writes, adding, “The successful pre-approval also suggests international [non-governmental organizations (NGOs)] can play an important role as technical advisers and collaborators in helping to align developing country health needs with emerging pharmaceutical producers’ interests and regulators’ standards, said Davis, who urged global health NGOs to use the same due diligence criteria as for-profit companies” (Igoe, 10/22).

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