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MSF statement on accepting donations of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV)

Photograph by Yann Libessart
2013 marked the first time that PCV is being used in South Sudan and one of the first vaccines to be implemented in compliance with the new WHO emergency vaccination recommendations.

MSF is grateful for donations of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) that help us protect vulnerable children against pneumonia in some of our operations.  However, donations are not MSF's preferred solution for meeting the immunisation needs of our patients.  

After five years of negotiations with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer, MSF was unable to reach an agreement to purchase the PCV vaccine at an affordable price. MSF therefore decided to sign time-limited, multi-year agreements with each company, in order to secure a supply of pneumonia vaccine that can be used to vaccinate children caught in on-going crises. The agreement with GSK is for a non-commercial price, which may be viewed as a de-facto donation. Both agreements were signed at the end of 2014.  

The agreements are a notable exception to MSF’s policy not to accept donations from corporations whose income come from the production and/or sale of tobacco, alcohol, arms, pharmaceuticals, and/or mineral, oil, gas or other extractive industries. MSF does not see these donations as a long-term solution and therefore will continue to negotiate and advocate strongly for price reductions.