How an innovative funding mechanism is saving lives by speeding up the availability of vaccines and making them affordable.
An Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) is a donor commitment to subsidise the future purchase of a vaccine that is not yet available. It is an innovative mechanism to incentivise private manufacturers to invest in research and development (R&D) and/or building manufacturing capacity to supply vaccines to developing countries. The aim is to accelerate the availability of effective vaccines at cost-effective and sustainable prices.
The AMC for pneumococcal vaccine provides manufacturers with incentives to develop products suitable for developing countries and to commit to long term supply of the vaccine at an affordable price. Pneumococcus causes meningitis and pneumonia and is responsible for 1.6 million deaths each year – half are children under age 5. With GAVI and support from donor countries, 17 countries have already introduced this vaccine using AMC, with a further 41 scheduled to do so by the end of 2015.
2 manufacturers are currently supplying GAVI countries with vaccines tailored for developing country needs, at a price more than 90% lower than the vaccine is sold for in developed countries.
A comparable vaccine without donor support could be distributed to developing countries a full 9 years after its introduction in the industrialised world. In contrast, the AMC-backed vaccine can be introduced in low-income countries almost at the same time (just a year between rollouts).
The pilot scheme aims to purchase 2 billion doses and save 7 million lives by 2030. This intervention could make a huge contribution to reducing the 800,000 deaths in children under 5 that occur annually due to pneumococcal disease.
The UK has committed US$485 million to the pilot AMC for pneumococcal vaccine, out of a donor-funded total of US$1.5 billion.