Vaccine Purchase Plan for Diseases Such as HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria Needs Political Will, Funding Pledges, Opinion Piece Says
The advance market commitment plan aimed at funding the development of vaccines for diseases -- including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria -- that largely affect developing countries is "a new way for partners in the private and public sectors to solve an old problem," Orin Levine, an associate professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Michael Klag, the Bloomberg school's dean, write in a Baltimore Sun opinion piece (Levine/Klag, Baltimore Sun, 1/3). Under the plan, the Group of Eight industrialized nations would provide between $800 million and $6 billion to subsidize the purchase of new vaccines. Wealthy nations also would provide funding to pharmaceutical companies when they produce safe and effective vaccines, and drug makers would sell the vaccines at reduced prices in developing countries when G8 nations have provided the promised amount. The total amount of the G8 pledge and the price per dose of each vaccine would be negotiated ahead of time (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/19/06). Levine and Klag call for the "political will from donor countries and foundations to leverage the best efforts of scientists and increased capacity from vaccine companies." The authors write, "The lifesaving benefits of this pilot project will be realized only if donor governments and foundations make concrete funding pledges that can drive development and production," concluding, "Working together, governments and companies can make sure that children in richer and poorer countries no longer need to be worlds apart" (Baltimore Sun, 1/3).