With NYC 'hackathon,' Médecins Sans Frontières aims to enlist Pfizer, GSK shareholders in its battle over vaccine prices

MSF is hosting a "hackathon" in New York City as a means to bring Pfizer and GSK shareholders in on its vaccine price-fighting efforts.

Médecins Sans Frontières has protested pneumococcal vaccine pricing from Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline for years, resulting in incremental wins for the charity along the way. Now, the group is taking an early step to mobilize shareholders to pressure the drug giants via a “hackathon” in New York City.

The event is designed to bring together “developers, designers, and strategists” to create an online platform to help people determine whether or not they’re holding Pfizer or GSK stocks in their retirement accounts.

Then, shareholders can join the price-fighting efforts. “This data is already public but not easy to access,” according to a MSF spokesperson.

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“Once people know where their money is, they can use their voice as shareholders to demand that the company do the right thing and make this vaccine affordable for everyone,” she continued.

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Pfizer recently committed to a big boost in its humanitarian efforts with Prevnar, and GSK last year reduced the price of its Synflorix for refugees. But MSF is not letting up, and last month launched a Twitter storm asking the companies to lower the prices across the board.

MSF’s event comes on the heels of a first-of-a-kind Access to Vaccines Index, documenting the strides that have been made—and work left to do—in vaccine access around the globe.