- When 194 World Health Organization (WHO) member countires met in Geneva last week, issues related to vaccine pricing and access for low- and middle-income countries were dicussed.
- Other topics of discussion included how to deal with antimicrobial resistance and Ebola, as well as drug counterfeiting and pollution-related illnesses.
- The WHO delegates passed a resolution focused on advancing the Gloabl Vaccine Action Plan, which the WHO Assembly endoresed in 2012, and thereby increasing transparency around vaccine pricing and access.
The main challenge for the delegates is that there is simply not enough transparency around the complete compeittive landscape for vaccines, which makes it difficult to determine whether the prices of various vaccines are being artificially manipulated. In fact, it is widely understood that vaccines for the most part are a cost-effective way to improve public health, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
"The Globa Vaccine Action Plan is a framework to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to existing vaccines for people in all communities," said the agency on its website. "GVAP aims to strengthen routine immunization to meet vaccination coverage targets; accelerate control of vaccine-preventable diseases with polio eradication as the first milestone; introduce new and improved vaccines and spur research and development for the next generation of vaccines and technologies."