Thursday, March 29, 2007

Low Cost Vaccine for Africa

Source - New low-cost vaccine for Africa:

GSK, Europe's largest drug company, has begun the registration process for a vaccine from which it will likely never make a profit.

The vaccine, Globorix, will be for meningitis. Meningitis is a big problem in Africa. Millions of people are at risk for getting this disease, which can kill a child in less than six hours. Globorix, which is only to be sold and used in Africa, will cost more than $400 million to develop, and is aimed at meningitis A and C.

GSK's chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier said the development of this new drug represents a new way of doing business, and not just a shot at some good PR.

However, it has been recognized that this act might not be the result of a good conscience. In the past, this drug giant attempted to sue the South African government for trying to obtain generic drugs to combat HIV and various other diseases. The company found itself in the middle of a PR nightmare and finally backed off. This resulted in GSK paying more attention to diseases that are typically overlooked, such as meningitis.

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