Vietnam-made vaccines WHO-cleared for export

Vietnam has become the 39th nation cleared for global exports of the vaccines it makes, joining an increasingly crowded field that includes local champions to multinational heavyweights. The World Health Organization (WHO) gave that clearance recently for a country that expects to be a leading producer within the next 20 to 30 years.

Vietnam's struggle to reach that status began in 2001 when it established its Drug Regulatory Authority and sought to make it and associated ministries and agencies capable of meeting international standards. The WHO gave it a rating of more than 90% on its first attempt.

A deputy health minister applauded the decision, saying it would open the industry to sales abroad as well as at home where it had been limited so far.

The Vietnamese government expects to have a 6-in-1 vaccine ready for the market next year, helping to relieve a shortage of the medicine. A measles vaccine made in Vietnam should be available for export soon, Vietnamnet reported.

Vietnam has joined a crowded field. Malaysia, Indonesia, China and India also plan similar goals for domestic and export use, while GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) has also moved to claim a stake in the global market in its deal with Novartis ($NVS), while companies such as Sanofi Pasteur and Takeda eye Asian markets for dengue and other diseases.

- here's the story from Vietnamnet