Doctors Without Borders’ Advocacy Gets GSK to Reduce Price of Pneumococcal Vaccine

By: Valeria Ricciulli

After seven years of conversation with Doctors Without Borders (MSF), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) decided to lower the price of their pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for humanitarian organizations that serve refugees and crisis-affected children, MSF stated in a press release. The medical organization is now urging Pfizer to reduce the price for the vaccine as well.

“With this price reduction, our teams will finally be able to expand their efforts to protect children against this deadly disease. GSK should now redouble efforts to reduce the price of the vaccine for the many developing countries that still can’t afford to protect their children against pneumonia,” MSF’S international president Dr. Joanne Liu said in a statement.

According to the organization, pneumonia is the leading causes of death mortality worldwide, killing near one million children per year. Health humanitarian organizations struggle with getting pneumonia vaccines at an affordable price. “Earlier this year, MSF paid $68.10 for one dose ($204.30 for the three doses needed to vaccinate one child) of the Pfizer product to vaccinate refugee children in Greece—20 times more than the lowest price that GSK and Pfizer offer,” the organization’s statement noted.

GSK will now reduce it to approximately $9 per child, according to their Sept. 19 announcement.

Through their Fair Shot campaign, MSF sent a petition signed by 416,000 people from 170 countries asking Pfizer and GSK to reduce the three doses of the vaccine to $5 per child. Now, it’s time to see if Pfizer will do the same.

About Valeria Ricciulli

Valeria Ricciulli is a New York based Colombian journalist. She currently covers real estate, architecture, and infrastructure at Vox Media's Curbed NY. Previously, she worked as a breaking news reporter for, and as a digital news intern for El Diario New York, covering crime, local politics, health, and culture. She's currently pursuing an M.S. in Media Management at The New School.