The Fight Against Infectious Disease

7655 WordsJun 18, 201531 Pages
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 the safety and efficacy of vaccine products. To date, governments, in concert with public health advocates have implemented a patchwork of policies to make the vaccine market more attractive for private firms and to increase access to these products for individuals. We would argue that what is needed is an integrated policy approach that preserves incentives for market entry and innovation in the vaccine industry while simultaneously addressing parental vaccine concerns and increasing immunization funding and reimbursement for both providers and patients. Vaccine development, like the development of other pharmaceuticals, is still a complex process that takes substantial resources and requires serious commitment over a period of roughly
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