India is the low-cost supplier of vaccines in most Unicef categories, according to supplier pricing data listed by the UN's children's advocate organization for the first time. In one case, nearly a $1 spread appears in the 2010 price for a vaccine sourced from five suppliers.
That vaccine is the compound DTP-HepB-Hib. Johnson & Johnson's Crucell comes in at the high end with a $3.20 price tag. GSK and Panacea Biotec each charge $2.95. Shantha charges $2.70 while the Serum Institute of India sets the tab at $2.25. Unicef provides pricing data for 16 vaccines that it distributes among the 191 countries that it serves.
Unicef formerly published only average price data for vaccines, but it now hopes to stimulate competition. It promises to continue publishing supplier pricing data in the future.
Manufacturers resisted the move by Unicef but eventually relented, with few exceptions. The postings appear just two weeks after the World Health Assembly meeting, at which keynote speaker Bill Gates urged delegates to commit their leadership and resources to vaccines, and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations said it supports access through such mechanisms as advanced market commitment and tiered pricing.