Plan Outlines Incentives for New Vaccines

Published Online: Sunday, May 1, 2005

Experts agree that a plan to provide market incentives for pharmaceutical and biotech companies to develop vaccines against diseases that kill millions of individuals in developing countries annually can significantly advance global health. The Center for Global Development (CGD) working group released its report, Making Markets for Vaccines: Ideas to Action, on World Health Day, April 7, 2005. The plan calls for rich countries and other donors to pledge to buy new vaccines for diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS, strengthening the incentive for companies to invest in research and development.

The report states that a market of $3 billion is required to provide incentives for companies to develop a new medicine. For instance, sponsors could pledge to underwrite a price of $15 per treatment for a malaria vaccine for the first 200 million treatments. At this price, the advance market commitment would be a bargain, compared with many other development costs. This plan also could speed delivery of recently developed vaccines.

"This approach unleashes the same market incentives that have been so effective in improving the health of people in rich countries," said Nancy Birdsall, president of CGD. "And it ensures that, once a vaccine is developed, the funds will be there to get the vaccine to the people who need it."

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