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Industry supporting global immunisation effort

Monday, 23 May 2011

Media Release

Medicines Australia welcomes Bill Gates’ support for strengthened global immunisation programs against infectious diseases.

Speaking at the World Health Assembly in Geneva last week, Mr Gates praised pharmaceutical companies, global health organisations and governments for their work in providing access to new vaccines in developing countries.

Mr Gates told the assembly that vaccines are the best possible investment in global health.

“They can be inexpensive, they are easy to deliver and they are proven to protect children from disease,” Mr Gates said.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said strengthening programs for immunisation against infectious disease could save millions of lives.

“The medicines industry is committed to investing in the development of innovative, safe and effective vaccines and making them available through partnerships.

“The innovative vaccines industry has long been working with the global immunisation community, to ensure every country has access to these vaccines through sustainable immunisation programs.

“Medicines Australia members are among the companies working at a global level with governments, NGOs and private foundations to make vaccines available at a price those governments can afford.

“Medicines Australia welcomes Mr Gates’ recognition of the contribution the medicines industry is making to solve the world’s global health problems through the development and supply of new vaccines.”

Over the last decade, the biopharmaceutical research sector has invested over $9.2 billion in direct assistance to improve healthcare throughout the developing world.

Innovative pharmaceutical companies are today working on nearly 400 new medicines and vaccines to combat infectious diseases. Many of these medicines are already in late-stage clinical trials or being considered by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval for patient use.

Bill Gates’ address to the World Health Assembly is available here

–ENDS–

Contact Person:

Jamie Nicholson
Media Communications Manager
Phone: 0419 220 293
Email:
Jamie.Nicholson@medicinesaustralia.com.au

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