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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

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Indian generic drugmaker to supply cheap vaccines to GAVI

The cost of immunising children in developing countries with a five-in-one vaccine is set to fall after a deal by an Indian biotechnology company to cut the price it charges an international vaccination charity.

Under the agreement, Hyderabad-based Biological E Limited will supply the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) the so-called "Pentavalent" shot for $1.19 per dose, compared to the $2.17 GAVI paid in 2012.

The Pentavalent vaccination protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and influenza.

GAVI - a public-private initiative founded by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others - said the price reduction will help it save some $150 million over the next four years.

The agreement is another indication of the global importance of India's generic drugs industry which fulfils a quarter of the worlds' demand for cheaper variants of life-saving medicines.

India’s support for its generics sector has led to clashes with Western pharmaceutical companies, most recently following a high-profile defeat for Novartis in a cancer drug patent case this month.

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