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GSK welcomes GAVI Alliance decision to introduce vaccines against cervical cancer and rubella in the world’s poorest countries

Posted: 17 November 2011 | | No comments yet

GSK welcomed the decision of the GAVI…

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GlaxoSmithKline today welcomed the decision of the GAVI Board to provide funding to facilitate the provision of cervical cancer immunisation programmes and rubella vaccination, across the world’s poorest countries.

GAVI has confirmed that it will open a new funding window for vaccines that target the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer. It is anticipated that as a result, up to two million women and girls living across nine developing countries could be protected from cervical cancer by 2015.

More than 80% of all cervical cancer deaths occur in developing countries where girls and women frequently do not have access to prevention services such as education, cervical cancer vaccination and potentially life-saving cervical cancer screening and early treatment.

GSK produces a vaccine called Cervarix®, which is intended to help protect women against cervical cancer caused by infection with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Jean Stéphenne, Chairman of GSK Biologicals said: “GAVI’s impact on global public health cannot be over-estimated. This year alone, they have introduced immunisation programmes for pneumococcal and diarrhoeal disease which will help protect millions of children living in the world’s least developed countries in the years to come. The introduction of vaccines which target cervical cancer will build on this success, helping to prevent this terrible disease in girls and women who have little or no access to screening or treatment. We look forward to discussing with the GAVI Alliance how we can work together to provide HPV vaccine in a sustainable way to GAVI eligible countries.”

The GAVI Board also agreed to open a new funding window for vaccines against the rubella virus which threatens pregnancy and child health. The plan is to reach 588 million children with rubella vaccines by 2015.

GSK has been a long-standing partner with the GAVI Alliance, and continues to supply more than 70% of its total vaccine volumes to the least developed countries. In June 2011, GSK made a new offer to supplyits rotavirus vaccine, RotarixTM, to the GAVI Alliance at a small fraction of developed world prices. It is estimated that more than half a million children die of rotavirus gastroenteritis each year – the equivalent of a child a minute worldwidei – and it is responsible for the hospitalisation of millions more.ii

The commitment for RotarixTMfollows the announcement in March 2010 that GSK would supply its pneumococcal vaccine, SynflorixTM, to GAVI at a heavily discounted price through an innovative financing mechanism known as the Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Pneumonia and rotavirus related diarrhoea are the two leading causes of death in children in developing countries.iii,iv

References

I. World Health Organisation. Weekly epidemiological record 2011; 86: 173-176

II. Forster J et al. Hospital-based surveillance to estimate the burden of rotavirus gastroenteritis among European children younger than 5 years of age. Pediatrics 2009; 123: e393-e400

III. Black R et al. Global, regional, and national causes of child mortality in 2008: a systematic analysis. Lancet 2010; 375: 1969-1987

IV. GAVI Alliance (2009). Pneumococcal AMC: Frequently asked questions. Accessed 3 June 2011 from: http://www.vaccineamc.org/files/FAQs2009.pdf

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