Merck’s GARDASIL wins WHO pre-qualification

Merck said GARDASIL [Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent (Types 6, 11, 16 and 18) Vaccine, Recombinant], has been awarded World Health Organization (WHO) pre-qualification, making the vaccine the first cervical cancer vaccine to receive this pre-qualification. WHO pre-qualification means that GARDASIL is now eligible for procurement by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other United Nations (UN) agencies including the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), for use in national immunization programs.

Merck said WHO pre-qualification is “a significant part of (its) approach to accelerating access to GARDASIL in the developing world through four key pillars: innovation, partnerships, pricing and implementation. This development follows the recent WHO position paper on the use of HPV vaccines.” Merck noted that it will offer GARDASIL to the public sectors of GAVI-eligible countries “at a price at which we do not profit.” Additionally, Merck said it is “exploring several ways to further reduce product cost for the developing world, including manufacturing efficiencies and reduction of royalties paid out to licensors on GARDASIL doses sold in the developing world.”

Additionally, Merck noted that it is partnering with PATH “to conduct demonstration projects of GARDASIL in the developing world by providing vaccine and technical support at no cost.”

(BUSINESS WIRE, 26 May 2009)

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