Friday, 29 July 2016

MSF to Oppose Pfizer's bid for pneumonia vaccine Patent

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Thursday said it will defend the rights of millions of children around the world to be protected against pneumonia, and will oppose US pharma giant Pfizer's bid for a patent on the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) at a hearing in India's patent office on Friday. The international humanitarian-aid organisation, also called Doctors Without Borders, filed a "patent opposition" to prevent the US pharmaceutical giant from getting a patent on PCV13, a MSF statement said.

"The pneumonia vaccine is the world's best-selling vaccine, and last year alone, Pfizer brought in more than $6 billion dollars in sales just for this product -- meanwhile many developing countries, where millions of children risk getting pneumonia, simply can't afford it," said Greg Elder, Medical Coordinator for MSF's Access Campaign. 

"To make sure children everywhere can be protected from deadly pneumonia, other companies need to be allowed to enter the market so they can supply this vaccine for a much lower price than what Pfizer charges," Elder added. Pfizer has priced the pneumonia vaccine, which it markets as Prevenar 13, out of reach of many developing countries and humanitarian organisations.

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