by Miloud Kaddar, WHO/IVB and Sarah Schmitt, Consultant The World Health Organization (WHO) recently launched a new project to address the need for reliable, accurate, and neutral vaccine product, price, and procurement information among countries newly graduating from GAVI Alliance (GAVI) support and other lower-middle-income countries. The goal of the Vaccine Product, Price, and Procurement (V3P) project is to increase the availability of key data and information, particularly to assist countries in making informed and evidence-based decisions on sustainable vaccine introduction. The need for such a project was recently documented in a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded study cosponsored by WHO and conducted by the Results for Development Institute on new vaccine adoption by lower-middle-income countries. The study showed that lower-middle-income countries are lagging behind high-income and donor-supported low-income countries in the sustainable introduction of new and priority vaccines. To address these issues, investigators proposed twelve high-priority, actionable recommendations, nine of which were related to vaccine price and procurement. WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts reviewed the study in November 2010 and recommended that WHO lead further investigations and interventions in the areas of vaccine price and procurement information. In January 2011, WHO hosted a meeting of experts, stakeholders, and partners to determine what actions could be taken to sustain and improve the uptake of new vaccines in countries graduating from GAVI support and other lower-middle-income countries. The group of experts reached a consensus that countries need information on vaccine pricing, product attributes and presentations, and possible procurement approaches to foster better immunization procurement practices and provide secure budgeting and sustainable financing for immunization. Funded by the Gates Foundation, the V3P project will be conducted over the next three years to identify, develop, and establish the most appropriate and comprehensive method(s), mechanism(s), and/or tool(s) to provide countries with accurate, reliable, and useful data on vaccine product, price, and procurement. The first year of the project will focus on information gathering regarding the specific needs of target countries and consulting with partners and stakeholders on the best possible approaches. The analysis phase will culminate in a proposal for tools or mechanisms that will be shared with the stakeholders for input and agreement. The second year will be spent developing, refining, and testing the product before implementation, which will occur in year three. The V3P project will benefit from the advice and knowledge of a steering committee made up of experts and other stakeholders to ensure wide consultation, appropriate guidance, inclusion of diverse viewpoints, and buy-in for the project. The working team for the project will be headed by Miloud Kaddar, group leader and health economist at WHO ([email protected]) and Sarah Schmitt, lead consultant ([email protected]). The working team will bring together the expertise of a wide range of partners and consultants including the GAVI Alliance, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the Pan American Health Organization, PATH, internal WHO collaborators, and other related synergistic initiatives funded by the Gates Foundation. The V3P project will benefit from and contribute to the ongoing activities and projects related to new vaccine introduction and decision-making, product attributes and preferences, supply chain management, regulation, prequalification, immunization planning, cofinancing after GAVI graduation, and other financing options. The ultimate goal of the V3P project is to build a collaborative, functional, and valuable source of vaccine product, price, and procurement data and information that is available to and appropriately used by countries to aid informed decision-making on the sustainable implementation of new and priority vaccines. To comment or reply to this article, click “reply.”
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