New vaccines

Nowadays, a few kinds of new vaccines are being introduced into the medical service. The examples are the vaccine for Papilloma viruses responsible for uterine cervical cancer and that for Rotavirus causing gastroenteritis in infancy. They are licensed by our governmental office, the Min. of Health, Labor and Welfare in Japan. The vaccines will prevent those infectious illnesses or its related severe diseases. It could become the triumph of the medical science against those illnesses.

There are some problems to use it in practice. One of them is their high costs. The latest one for Rotavirus, monovalent vaccine, costs about 140 USD/vial. The infant should take three of them in early infance. The cost of vaccines, themselves, sums up to 420USD. It seems to be price controlled by the pharmaceutical company and/or the goverenmental agency. This price could be a economical burden to the infant's parents.

These vaccines must be most useful in the developing countries. Cervical cancer is a serious challenge for women in those countries. Gastroenteritis is one of the most common causes of death in infancy there. It is most likely from the experience of the other medicines that the prices in the developing countries are set as high as those in Japan or the other developed countries. This price level should prevent the vaccine from being widely used by the peoples in those countries.

Admitting that it takes the pharmaceutical companies much investment to develop such cutting edge item for medical service, I wonder if this price-setting is fair or not. The market is all over the world. They would be sold in enormous numbers, I guess. In Japan, the cost includes that for examination of the potency by a governmental agency, which is near to the half of the price. I wonder if they are testing all vials. Maybe, no. A few vials should be tested in a lot. The governmental office determines the price, of which another governmental agency is maybe taking much profit.  I am pretty sure both the private and public sector is in a conspiracy to take as much profit as possible from the vaccine sales.

In addition, I should point out each mega pharmaceuticals is getting much profit every year, which results in astronomically big reserve of money, even though I don't know how much this vaccine sales strategy contributes to it. The pharmaceutical companies should be responsible to provide these vaccines at reasonable prices.

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