NEW YORK, 24 March 2016 – Pneumonia is the leading cause of childhood death in the Philippines. There is a vaccine to prevent the disease, but at about US$45 per child, the price charged to the government by pharmaceutical company Pfizer, this price may become unsustainable to vaccinate all children in the future. NextDayBetter – a storytelling platform for creative diaspora communities – is today joining Doctors Without Borders’s efforts to encourage pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) – the sole manufacturers of the pneumonia vaccine – to reduce the price of the vaccine to $5 dollars per child in the Philippines and all other developing countries.
The pneumonia vaccine is the world’s best-selling vaccine, and last year alone, Pfizer brought in more than US$6 billion dollars in sales just for this product. At the lowest global prices, which the Philippines cannot access, it is now 68 times more expensive to vaccinate a child than in 2001, according to a 2015 MSF report, The Right Shot: Bringing down Barriers to Affordable and Adapted Vaccines. The pneumonia vaccine accounts for about half the price of vaccinating a child in the poorest countries. After years of fruitless negotiations with Pfizer and GSK to lower the vaccine’s price for use in its projects, in 2015, MSF launched the ‘FAIR SHOT’ campaign to ask Pfizer and GSK to reduce the price of the pneumonia vaccine to $5 per child (for all three needed doses).
“Due to the high price charged by the companies, many countries where millions of children risk getting pneumonia simply can’t afford it, and for countries such as the Philippines the high price threatens sustainability of the vaccination program,” said Dr. Greg Elder, Medical Coordinator for MSF’s Access Campaign.
NextDayBetter is hoping to amplify the “FAIR SHOT” campaign and make the pneumonia vaccine more accessible to millions of children in the Philippines. “The Philippine diaspora is very involved in the provision of healthcare on this continent, while being extremely well aware of the situation at home. Together, we think we can put pressure on Pfizer and GSK to reduce the price of the vaccine, and speak out against high vaccine prices in the Philippines,” said Elder.
To increase awareness about the pneumonia crisis in the Philippines, NextDayBetter will be launching a storytelling campaign that humanizes the people affected by this issue and highlights the work of Filipinos who are dedicated to improving the quality of public health in the Philippines. The campaign will be launching on NextDayBetter’s multimedia platforms with the intent of inspiring and empowering the Philippine diaspora to take action in effecting change in their homeland.
“The Philippine diaspora is overflowing with incredibly talented nurses, doctors, and other leaders in public health who have pioneered breakthroughs in healthcare. We have saved so many people around the world – now we need to focus on our own community back home,” said CEO of NextDayBetter, Ryan Letada.
To sign the petition and learn more about the “FAIR SHOT” campaign, visit http://nextdaybetter.com/afairshot/ or email NextDayBetter at firstname.lastname@example.org