Global Public Health
Volume 13, 2017 Issue 4
Geneva–Seattle collaboration in support of developing country vaccine manufacturing
Michael A. Stevenson
Published online: 19 Oct 2016
Vaccines were once produced almost exclusively by state-supported entities. While they remain essential tools for public health protection, the majority of the world’s governments have allowed industry to assume responsibility for this function. This is significant because while the international harmonisation of quality assurance standards have effectively increased vaccine safety, they have also reduced the number of developing country vaccine producers, and Northern multinational pharmaceutical companies have shown little interest in offering the range of low-priced products needed in low and middle-income-country contexts. This article examines how public–private collaboration is relevant to contemporary efforts aimed at strengthening developing country manufacturers’ capacity to produce high-quality, low-priced vaccines. Specifically, it casts light on the important and largely complimentary roles of the World Health Organization, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Seattle-based non-profit PATH, in this process. The take away message is that external support remains critical to ensuring that developing country vaccine manufacturers have the tools needed to produce for both domestic and global markets, and the United Nations supply chain, and collaboration at the public–private interface is driving organisational innovation focused on meeting these goals.