UNICEF promotes vaccine pricing transparency
COPENHAGEN (May 27, 2011)—UNICEF is improving transparency around vaccine supply by making vaccine prices available on its website. As the largest buyer of children's vaccines, this move is in line with UNICEF's commitment to ensure that vaccine supply is sustainable and affordable. UNICEF's partners in immunization welcome the positive development.
Information on market dynamics that influence vaccine uptake will be more publicly available, starting with prices at which companies sell vaccines to UNICEF. "Transparency is a core principle in itself and will support governments and partners in making more informed decisions," said Shanelle Hall, Director of Supply Division, UNICEF. "Transparency will also help foster a competitive, diverse supplier base for global public goods."
Partners promoting vaccine affordability and availability agree that pricing is a multi-dimensional strategy. To reach the lowest prices, interventions must address supply and demand-side factors and risks. Transparency, along with strategic oversight of the vaccine market and prices, suggests that more children would have access to a wider range of vaccines, improving child survival.
"As the main funder of vaccines procured by UNICEF, the GAVI Alliance strongly believes in timely, transparent and accurate information on pricing," said Helen Evans, Interim CEO of the GAVI Alliance. "Transparency of pricing enhances partners and countries' understanding of market dynamics, leading to better visibility of how their financial commitments translate into the number of children vaccinated and lives saved. The GAVI Alliance is committed to ensure that the right vaccines are available in the right quantities and at affordable prices so we can save more lives with the resources available."
"Improved transparency on pricing is coming at a critical time, especially as vaccines against pneumonia and diarrhoea are being made available. The approach will soon be extended to other vaccine market dynamic factors, and other health products that are essential to child survival," added Ms Hall.
UNICEF undertook a consultation with all suppliers to ensure understanding and acceptance of the new policy prior to publishing vaccine prices online. All recent and future tenders include a clause that enables UNICEF to make awarded vaccine prices publicly available, in addition to pricing and contracting information already in the public domain on UNICEF's website.
The procurement of vaccines is UNICEF's largest procurement activity, worth $757 million in 2010. Last year, UNICEF provided 2.5 billion doses of vaccines to 99 countries, reaching an estimated 58% of the world's children.
For latest on vaccine pricing, please visit: http://www.unicef.org/supply/index_57476.html
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian aid organization in the world. Working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health and immunizations, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency and disaster relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.
UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress: the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. But still, 22,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood.
For additional information, please contact:
Lisa Szarkowski, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.922.2643, email@example.com