GSK today announced that it has made a new offer to supply its rotavirus vaccine, RotarixTM, to the GAVI Alliance at $2.50 per dose (approximate 95% reduction to Western market price). This announcement is part of the company’s efforts to increase access to its medicines and vaccines in the world’s poorest countries. It is estimated that more than half a million children die of rotavirus gastroenteritis each year – the equivalent of a child a minute worldwide – and it is responsible for the hospitalization of millions more.
Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline, urged other pharmaceutical companies to follow suit and said the price cut was not a gimmick or one-time philanthropic gesture. The company said that it intends to use profits made in wealthier countries to subsidize drugs for poorer nations, selling them at a price that covers just the cost of production.
“Whilst most babies in the world will get rotavirus at some point, those in developing countries do not have access to the medical care they need which means millions of babies die unnecessarily. GSK is committed to playing its part in addressing the healthcare challenges faced by world’s poorest countries. By working in partnership with others including governments, international agencies, NGOs and developing countries, we can find innovative ways to accelerate access to vaccines t