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Monday, 6 March 2017 - 5:14pm

Today, the Access to Medicine Foundation released their first Index, analysing how eight of the largest vaccine companies are improving access to high-priority vaccines.

Save the Children welcomes this report as a new catalyst to stimulate action from pharmaceutical companies to improve access to vaccines and help reach the 19.4 million children under one year who are still missing out on immunisation globally.  

We believe vaccines are one of the most cost-effective interventions to save children’s lives and ensure no child dies of a preventable cause. As our recent report Further, Faster, Fairer: Reaching every last child with immunisation showed, over the past decade, we’ve seen great progress in the coverage of immunisation services globally. However, there are still huge inequalities between, and even more critically within, countries.

The Index demonstrates that more needs to, and can be, done to ensure immunisation coverage is expanded and sustained and the crucial role of Vaccine companies in this. It shows that particularly for middle income countries, transitioning out from Gavi prices, manufacturers must consider countries’ ability to pay when setting vaccine prices and which populations they are buying for. Public investment is also important to ensuring equitable and increased investment in immunisation and to ensure the sustainability of immunisation programmes.

We congratulate GSK which has been ranked highly in the Index for its actions to improve access to vaccines. Through the five-year partnership between GSK and Save the Children, we aim to help save the lives of one million children. Part of this includes working with GSK to urge them to improve their policies to promote better access to medicines and vaccines for every last child.

We hope the Index can be an important step in stimulating change and increasing accountability of the pharmaceutical sector and open a dialogue among all stakeholders to ensure that vaccine prices are not a barrier to reaching every last child.