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Merck commends GAVI Alliance on continued efforts to improve access

Posted: 5 June 2011 | | No comments yet

Merck commends the GAVI Alliance for their commitment to protecting the lives of children…

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Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) commends the GAVI Alliance and donor organizations, governments and partners for their commitment to protecting the lives of children from vaccine preventable diseases and for the continued commitments announced today. The Alliances’ success has already reached 288 million children with vaccines in the last decade and saved more than 5 million lives.

“Merck’s commitment to protecting children’s health by improving affordability, availability, and accessibility of vaccines is fundamental to our business and overall mission,” said Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, president, Merck Vaccines. “The upcoming GAVI conference – and the commitments highlighted today by so many – are critical steps toward advancing access to vaccines in developing countries.”

In the spirit of the GAVI Pledging Conference for Immunization, Merck is furthering its long-standing commitment to GAVI by providing GARDASIL® [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant] to the GAVI Alliance at a price of $5.00 USD per dose. Vaccine at this price is being offered to GAVI-eligible countries to help achieve sustainable public sector access in the most resource-scarce areas of the world. This price is lower than that in the lowest tier of Merck’s established pricing policy and takes into account a country’s ability to pay and burden of unmet health needs in the population. Merck will also offer RotaTeq® (Rotavirus Vaccine, Live, Oral, Pentavalent) to UNICEF at $5.00 USD per dose. The RotaTeq price will decrease to $3.50 USD once the purchase volume increases to 30 million doses.

“Ensuring full funding for GAVI’s goals is essential to meeting our public health commitment to all children. Long term purchase commitments help accelerate the future availability of vaccines. Confirming volumes to be purchased will enable further price reductions as manufacturers expand production and lower costs in the future allowing for greater access,” Dr. Gerberding continued.

Merck is committed to improving access to medicines, vaccines and quality health care worldwide. In an effort to augment the work of global agencies and governments that have prioritized immunization in their countries, Merck leads and supports initiatives to foster access and partnership that enable sustainable national vaccination programs. This includes the work currently being initiated by the MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Labs to develop ways to substantially improve vaccine thermostability and to explore new vaccine delivery strategies specifically designed for use in the developing world, the comprehensive Nicaraguan Rotavirus Vaccination Program as well as the recently launched cervical cancer prevention programs in Rwanda and Bhutan. To learn more about these and other Merck programs to ensure access to medicines and vaccines go to www.merck.com/responsibility/.

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