Unicef secures deal to buy pentavalent vaccine at half its current price

Shanelle Hall, director of Unicef's supply and procurement division

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has secured a deal to purchase the pentavalent vaccine — a combination of five vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type b — at an average price of US$0.84, half what the agency pays now.

Unicef announced on 19 October 2016 that it had reached agreement with six suppliers to buy 450 million doses of the vaccine, a cornerstone of routine immunisation programmes. Most of the vaccines will be allocated to the 73 countries supported by the Gavi vaccine alliance, a public-private partnership committed to increasing access to vaccines.

Shanelle Hall, director of Unicef’s supply and procurement division, says: “Through lower prices and multiple supply base, we have the best access since [the pentavalent vaccine] was launched 16 years ago.”

She also notes that the new pricing agreement will generate over US$366m in savings for donors and governments.

The manufacturers that have agreed to supply the pentavalent vaccine at the reduced price are: Biologica E Limited (India); Janssen Vaccines Corporation (India); LG Life Science Limited (South Korea); Panacea Biotec Limited (India); Serum Institute of India; and Shantha Biotechnics (India).

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, November 2016, Vol 297, No 7895;297(7895):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201871

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