A Perspective on Market Access to Immunization
In today’s environment, predominance of deadly infectious diseases coupled with rising healthcare awareness in emerging economies are the major factors driving demand for immunization.
Sudden disease outbreak, such as the Ebola outbreak during 2014 in Africa and a growing base of the global population suffering from various chronic diseases, accentuate the demand for immunization. However, lack of access to cost-effective and quality vaccines, especially in the poorly developed countries, is a major hurdle for immunization coverage.
Efficient supply and distribution of the vaccines is the key factor in promoting access to immunization. Public private partnerships are created in order to promote immunization, especially in emerging countries such as Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Afghanistan, China, and Haiti. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) is a PPP (public-private partnership) committed to increase immunization access for children from poorly developed countries. The members of this vaccine alliance include UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Major vaccine procurement mechanisms include country-based procurement and pooled procurement. The procurement strategy adopted by a specific region determines their immunization coverage. UNICEF is one of the leading organization for vaccine procurement following pooled procurement mechanism. UNICEF announced procurement of vaccines worth USD 1.72 Billion in 2015. A major advantage associated with these procurement sources is their large procurement pools.
The high demand for vaccines generated by programs such as UNICEF need to be compensated with real time delivery of the vaccines. To avoid lack of supply for vaccines, in 2013 UNICEF entered into agreement with supplier companies such as GSK and Pfizer to secure a number of vaccines at a lower price. Moreover, as vaccines require cold storage facilities, availability of proper storage facilities and quality product supply throughout the region is of prime importance.
For the pharmaceutical companies, increase in immunization coverage, especially in emerging economies, by gathering government support in respective regions, investing in awareness programs to facilitate active participation for vaccination and providing real time market access to a sufficient amount of quality vaccines are the key areas of opportunity for their extensive growth in the market space.