Shaping markets to benefit global health – A 15-year history and lessons learned from the pentavalent vaccine market.
Market shaping for health products used in lower-income countries strives to benefit public health. As a funder of vaccines, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) has goals for its market shaping efforts, achieved through a strategy developed and implemented by the Gavi Secretariat, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). A case-study of Gavi’s fifteen- year engagement with a vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenzae type b (pentavalent) provides evidence of the benefits and potential risks of trying to influence markets. During 2001–18, Gavi disbursed US$3.5 billion to support use of 50 million pentavalent doses annually before 2005, increasing to approximately 300 million doses annually by 2016. During this time, eight manufacturers invested in vaccine development and manufacturing and the first two manufacturers have subsequently ceased production. Following its strategy, Gavi implemented coordinated market interventions including technical assistance to manufacturers, improving market information transparency, risk-sharing agreements and innovative procurement aiming to stimulate and capitalise on a competitive market. In 2018 supply allows approximately 80 million children per year to be immunised, a sixteen-fold increase from 2005, with vaccine-related costs per child for donors and countries of one-quarter the 2005 level. Lessons learned include the importance of frameworks and strategies; the need to adjust interventions with changing conditions; the important role of manufacturers; and the potentially powerful effects of interconnected markets. This case study is limited by its focus on a single health product in a specific market, however the lessons can inform other market shaping efforts when taken in context. While countries and children have improved vaccine access, risks of financial sustainability and continued manufacturer investment in Gavi vaccine markets are being monitored. Gavi should continue implementing a market shaping strategy, adjust with market conditions and expect and measure unintended consequences.