G7 Finance Ministers Approve Vaccine Proposal
Finance ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations on Saturday at a meeting in London agreed to commit about $1 billion to pharmaceutical companies when they develop vaccines for diseases that primarily affect developing countries, according to Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti, Reuters reports (Landini, Reuters, 12/3). The $1 billion funding agreement is about $6.6 billion less than the initial amount Italian officials proposed to promote the development of vaccines for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria (Dow Jones, 12/3). Italy released a report last week in advance of Saturday's G7 meeting outlining a plan that would have required wealthy nations to commit up to $7.6 billion to pharmaceutical companies when they create vaccines for the three diseases. Italy agreed to take on the vaccine proposal as part of a wider U.K.-led effort to increase aid for developing countries (GlobalHealthReporting.org, 12/2). The funding commitment needs to be ratified by G7 ministers at their April meeting in Washington, D.C., where they also are expected to agree upon a pilot project to be funded with the $1 billion. The pilot project likely will initially focus on developing a vaccine for gastroenteritis, human papillomavirus or pneumococcus. The project will be administered by an independent assessment committee that will decide if vaccines meet necessary standards (Reuters, 12/3). Italian officials said they hope more funding will be pledged at the April meeting to finance research into more expensive vaccines for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria, according to Dow Jones (Dow Jones, 12/3).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.