Pfizer, GSK to discount pneumonia vaccines by more than 50 percent

The sales of low-priced pneumonia vaccine to developing countries by Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline will increase by more than 50 percent in the coming months.

An additional 180 million doses of Pfizer's pnemococcal vaccine Prevnar 13 will be purchased by the Global Alliance for Vacinnes and Immunization. Additionally, GAVI will purchase a similar amount of GSK's Synflorix at the deeply discounted price of $3.50 a shot, Reuters reports. GSK's Synflorix protects against 10 strains of the streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium and Pfizer's Prevnar 13 protects against 13.

On Friday, the two companies agreed to supply the additional vaccines through 2023, which follows a previous commitment from 2010 to supply 300 million doses each.

GAVI, in exchange for its large orders, negotiated a low price with the two drug companies. The companies will be paid $7 per dose for the first 20 percent of all purchased doses and $3.50 for the remaining orders and an Advance Market Commitment scheme, according to Reuters.

The $3.50 price point is a 90 percent reduction from prices charged in some industrialized countries.

GAVI's increased dose purchasing plan comes at a time that other aid organizations, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, are struggling. The GLobal Fund is the world's largest back of HIV treatment and prevention programs but was recently forced to cancel new grants and make no new funding until 2014. GAVI, however, secured $3.4 billion in pledges from its donors in June.