The Fight Against Infectious Disease

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By saving millions of lives and millions of dollars, vaccines have been responsible for some of the greatest successes in public health. However, the struggle against infectious disease is a continual process requiring new vaccines for the challenges that may confront human health in the future. The vaccine market is fragile and requires both supply and demand side interventions. Vaccine availability has been limited by the number of suppliers, high R&D and production costs, and safety problems leading to increased regulatory requirements. Demand has been constrained by rapidly increasing vaccine costs, financing issues that have constrained efforts to achieve targets set for population immunization rates, and parental attitudes regarding…show more content…
The contexts for vaccine and biopharmaceuticals development are very different. The general clinical settings and study endpoints for vaccines are clearer from the start and seem to be better controlled than for biopharmaceuticals (Struck 1996). Researchers already know about the disease, the responsible pathogens and the immune response elicited in humans during infection. Disease staging is not a common feature of vaccine development. (2011) In the past thirty years, the world of vaccines has gone through a revitalization. Advances in science, business, and distribution have transformed the field to the point where vaccines are recognized as a “best buy” in global health, a driver of pharmaceutical industry growth, and a key instrument of international development. With many new vaccines available and others on the horizon, the global community will need to explore new ways of ensuring access to vaccines in developing nations. So-called tiered pricing, which makes vaccines available at different prices for countries at different levels of economic development; innovative financing mechanisms such as advance market commitments or offers of long-term and high-volume contracts to vaccine producers; and technology transfers such as sharing intellectual property and production techniques among companies and countries can all play a part in bringing new life-saving vaccines for pneumonia, rotavirus, malaria, and other diseases to developing countries (Stephenne 2011)
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