Measures Needed To Motivate Private Sector To Invest in Vaccines for HIV, Other Diseases, Opinion Piece Says
"Twenty-three years after the discovery of HIV ... the time has come for us to put in place a new accelerated system for finding and producing the vaccines we need," International AIDS Vaccine Initiative President Seth Berkley writes in a Newsweek International opinion piece. According to Berkley, the private sector has been reluctant to invest in vaccines because they "provide relatively low return on investment." Therefore, increased public funding for researchers and the industry is needed "to overcome scientific roadblocks," Berkley writes, adding that the funding must be mobilized "quickly and be free of bureaucratic encumbrances." He also calls for "a range of government-sponsored financing schemes to bring the private sector to the table," such as guarantees of fair prices to companies that produce vaccines for HIV or other diseases for people in developing countries. Finally, Berkley proposes establishing liability protection or insurance "that balances legitimate consumer interests with companies' concerns about large and damaging lawsuits" (Berkley, Newsweek International, 1/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.