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Vaccine Donations Undermine Efforts To Increase Access To Affordable Medicines

Medium: There is no such thing as “free” vaccines: Why we rejected Pfizer’s donation offer of pneumonia vaccines.
Jason Cone, executive director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières in the U.S.

“…Free is not always better. Donations [of vaccines] often involve numerous conditions and strings attached, including restrictions on which patient populations and what geographic areas are allowed to receive the benefits. … Donations can also undermine long-term efforts to increase access to affordable vaccines and medicines. … Donations of medical products, such as vaccines and drugs, may appear to be good ‘quick fixes,’ but they are not the answer to increasingly high vaccine prices charged by pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer and GSK. … Doctors Without Borders does not believe that our medical work, nor the work of other humanitarian organizations or governments trying to serve their people, should be at mercy of the voluntary ‘goodwill’ of pharmaceutical corporations. Pfizer should lower the price of its lifesaving pneumonia vaccine for humanitarian organizations and all developing countries to $5 per child. Only then, will we have a meaningful step towards saving children’s lives both today and in the future…” (10/10).

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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.