A Ripe Moment for Reducing Vaccine-Preventable Disease

A Ripe Moment for Reducing Vaccine-Preventable Disease. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Nellie Bristol. March 13, 2018

 Immunizations are one of the most effective and cost-effective health promotion tools, improving child well-being and lowering the risk of epidemic-prone diseases. Yet despite focused efforts to increase global vaccine delivery, more than one in ten children received no vaccines in 2016, while an additional one in seven missed receiving all recommended doses and thus remains vulnerable to potentially deadly diseases.

 Over the next several years, three global health activities growing out of programs championed by the U.S. government will come together in a way that could catalyze immunization system improvements in the most disease-prone countries. These include immunization and disease surveillance goals outlined in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and two activities related to global polio eradication: the need for worldwide delivery of the inactivated polio vaccine; and the repurposing of the polio infrastructure for immunization and other health activities, a process known as polio transition. All three activities create concerted attention to immunization systems that could result in sustained increases in global vaccination rates and amplify U.S. investments in vaccine promotion mechanisms, such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

 [PDF format, 8 pages].

Biologics and Biosimilars: Background and Key Issues

Biologics and Biosimilars: Background and Key Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Judith A. Johnson. September 7, 2016.

A biological product, or biologic, is a preparation, such as a drug or a vaccine, that is made from living organisms. Compared with conventional chemical drugs, biologics are relatively large and complex molecules. They may be composed of proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, or combinations of these substances. Biologics may also be cells or tissues used in transplantation. A biosimilar, sometimes referred to as a follow-on biologic, is a therapeutic drug that is similar but not structurally identical to the brand-name biologic made by a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company. In contrast to the relatively simple structure and manufacture of chemical drugs, biosimilars, with their more complex nature and method of manufacture, will not be identical to the brand-name product, but may instead be shown to be highly similar. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates both biologics and chemical drugs.

[PDF format, 28 pages, 800.70 KB].

The Politics of Priority Setting in Health: A Political Economy Perspective

The Politics of Priority Setting in Health: A Political Economy Perspective. Center for Global Development. Katharina Hauck and Peter C. Smith. September 3, 2015.

Many health improving interventions in low-income countries are extremely good value for money. So why has it often proven difficult to obtain political backing for highly cost-effective interventions such as vaccinations, treatments against diarrhoeal disease in children, and preventive policies such as improved access to clean water, or policies curtailing tobacco consumption? [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 33 pages, 30.5 KB].