The economics of vaccine commitments

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The Center for Global Development has released a working paper that puts some numbers and momentum behind the G8's advanced market commitment idea for vaccines in developing countries. Sponsors would commit to paying a minimum price per person immunized against common diseases if a vaccine is developed, but they pay nothing upfront. The scheme offers a guaranteed market for pharmaceutical companies and should spur research on malaria and tuberculosis (as opposed to male pattern baldness and restless leg syndrome). Their findings are encouraging:

[A] malaria commitment of $15 for the first 200,000,000 individuals immunized would cost less than $15 per year of life saved; for tuberculosis a commitment of similar magnitude would cost $31 per year of life saved; and for HIV/AIDS, $17.

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