LONDON, April 18 The cost of immunising children
in developing countries with a five-in-one vaccine is set to
fall after a deal by an Indian supplier to slash the price it
charges the GAVI global vaccines group.
The agreement between Biological E and the GAVI Alliance,
which funds bulk-buy vaccination programmes for poor nations,
highlights the growing role of India's low-cost drugs sector in
supplying products around the world.
India's staunch support for its generics sector has led to
clashes with Western pharmaceutical companies, most recently
following a high-profile defeat for Novartis in a
cancer drug patent case this month.
GAVI said on Thursday that Biological E would sell the
pentavalent shot for $1.19 per dose, compared to a 2012 weighted
average price of $2.17, saving it up to $150 million over the
next four years.
The five-in-one vaccine is the most widely used by GAVI. It
protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis
B and Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).
GAVI also buys the shot from Johnson & Johnson's
Crucell, GlaxoSmithKline, LG Life Sciences
and Serum Institute of India.