Firm donates swine flu vaccines

November 10, 2009 12:00 am

, LONDON, Nov 10 – British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said Tuesday it will donate 50 million doses of its swine flu vaccine to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to distribute to developing countries.

The drugs company is working with the WHO and health authorities to deliver initial shipments of the vaccine by the end of November, it said in a statement.

"GSK is committed to supporting governments and health authorities around the world in their efforts to protect their populations against this pandemic," said GSK chief executive Andrew Witty said.

WHO director general Margaret Chan welcomed the "very generous donation".

"This is a real gesture of global solidarity towards those who would not otherwise be able to have access to the vaccine. WHO will now work to see that these vaccines are distributed to those who need them," she said.

GSK has also agreed to sell the vaccine to developing countries at a reduced price, the drugs company said, and is in talks with the WHO about a donation of its antiviral medicine, Relenza.

More than 5,700 people have died worldwide since the A(H1N1) virus was first discovered in April, most of them in the Americas region, according to the WHO.


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