HPV Vaccine Price to Plummet for Poor Countries
Merck, GlaxoSmthKline will offer them for less than $5
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 9, 2013 1:51 PM CDT
In this file photo, one dose of an HPV vaccine is displayed in Austin, Texas.   (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck, File)

(Newser) – Two of the world's biggest drug companies have agreed to slash the price of their HPV vaccines—which currently cost around $130 a dose in the US—down to less than $5 in some developing nations, the companies announced today. Thanks to a deal negotiated by the nonprofit GAVI Alliance, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline have agreed to provide a few million cheap doses of their respective cervical cancer-fighting products for demo programs in countries including Kenya, Ghana, Laos, and Madagascar, the New York Times reports.

GAVI, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, is hoping to have the lower prices ($4.50 for Merck's drug and $4.60 for Glaxo's) in place in 40 countries, giving some 30 million girls access to the vaccine. But the deal won't include poor countries in Latin America, because they have wealthier neighbors, and Doctors Without Borders says it's "disappointing" that prices aren't even lower. "Why are the pharmaceutical companies still making profits off the backs of the poorest countries?" a specialist for the group asked.

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Showing 3 of 10 comments
May 9, 2013 9:57 PM CDT
John Edwards had his faults for sure, but he wanted to stop drug advertising to consumers.
May 9, 2013 9:44 PM CDT
If drug companies can drop prices for places like Africa etc they should be able to do the same here. They mark meds up so high it's shameful.
May 9, 2013 6:41 PM CDT
Why don't the drug companies give Americans a freaking break???