Companies Refuse to Lower Meningitis Vaccine Prices
PANA Wire Service;
Sources at a World Health Organization (WHO) meningitis meeting in Burkina Faso say that pharmaceutical companies have rejected requests to lower the price of the tetravalent meningitis vaccine to $1 a dose for countries that frequently experience epidemics of the disease. The best offer was reportedly made by GlaxoSmithKline, at $2.75 a dose. Experts said that many nations where the disease is prevalent, especially those in Africa, cannot afford the vaccine. They also expressed concern that the vaccines currently being used in the African meningitis belt do not protect against the W135 strain, which they said could spread from Burkina Faso to other countries in the region.