Life & Leisure

#AskPharma: Let’s Give Our Kids A Fair Shot at Health


Sometimes, a simple cough in  infants and children can lead to something serious and potentially fatal like pneumonia.
Here are the facts:
·        Pneumonia is a lung disease that takes the lives of  1.1 M children under 5 every year worldwide
·        In the Philippines, pneumonia is the leading cause of mortality in children younger than 5 years old.
·        Pneumonia is treatable, curable and preventable
·        Pneumococcal  conjugate vaccine (PCV)  gives protection against 13 types of pneumococcal bacteria.
·        According to Department of Health Data (DOH) data, this is the 2016 price offered for the PCV by two primary manufacturers :
·        Vial: US$15.37 per dose(PHP2,153.00 for 3 doses)
·  Pre-filled Syringe: US$14.99 per dose  (PHP2,100.01 for 3 doses) 
·        Vial: US$ 14.12 per dose(PhP1978.21 for 3 doses)
·        Pre-filled Syringe: US$ 14.50 per dose  (PhP2,031.45 for 3 doses)

·         Here in the Philippines, PCV is given for FREE in government health centers except NCR, IV-A and IV-B. 
Imagine paying P2,000 just for a vaccine? In private clinics, this amount can even double. With all the expenses that parents need to pay for, this is simply just too much, right? Should our children’s health be sacrificed?
Last March 19 2016, I was privileged to join a knowledge sharing session conducted by Medecins San Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors without Borders at the Linden Suites with Mommy Bloggers Philppines (MBP)
The intimate event intended to discuss the rising cost of vaccines, to share experiences regarding child vaccination and to gather support for the #AskPharma campaign. 
Dr. Kitts Sarte explaining the  #Ask Pharma campaign
We all agree that lifesaving vaccines are priced out of reach by Pfizer and GSKThe #AskPharma campaign seeks to ask big pharmaceutical companies, specifically Pfiezer and Glaxo Smith Kline to lower the cost of pneumonia vaccine for children from roughly $40 to $5 for 3 doses by gathering signatures online and offline. 
Serious discussion on vaccination and practices
A light moment during the session
Our passionate speaker, Dr, Kitts Sarte, who has been with MSF for about eight years, also explained why US$ 5?
ØThe current price is very expensive.
ØGSK and Pfiezer have already reaped more than 23 B in sales
ØManufacturer Serum Institute of India has publicly stated that it plans to sell the vaccines for 6 for all three does when it will be out in the market years from now.


Dr. Sarte  and Baikong Mamid Sia of MSF with  MBP members

*Note: photos and material courtesy of MSF

I must say I truly enjoyed the event. On a personal note, working with Doctors without Borders is on my bucket list and in this way, I feel that I have fulfilled it.I learned so much and would encourage you my dearest reader to join this important campaign!

Here’s what you can do:
Help us bring down PCV price to $5 (P250) for three doses. SIGN THE PETITION NOW:
Let’s all give our children a fair shot! Do your part!

Share this post and help spread the word about this campaign!
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. We offer assistance to people based on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.
MSF was founded in Paris, France in 1971. Today, MSF is a worldwide movement of 24 associations, bound together as MSF International, based in Switzerland. Thousands of health professionals, logistical and administrative staff – most of whom are hired locally – work on programmes in some 70 countries worldwide. About 90 percent of MSF’s funding comes from over 5 million donors worldwide. 
MSF was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 “in recognition of the organization’s pioneering humanitarian work on several continents.”

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  1. I do support this campaign. I know how parents struggle to complete their child vaccines because of their prices.

  2. Let's push this further!

  3. Great advocacy. I really don't understand why vaccines have to be that expensive.

    Donna of

  4. This is a great idea. Health has been one of the biggest issues that it's hard for below average citizens to afford a good medicine. I hope more of this stuff will be pursued.

  5. It is nice to know that there are still humanity left in this world. We should really help children because they are our world's future builders.

  6. I've got a 5 month old nephew and my sister told me how expensive the vaccines are for babies. I told her how sad the situation is for those parents who can't afford. I'm sharing your article on my facebook page.

  7. I signed this petition before but I've never given it much thought. Reading this now made me realize that yes, everyone deserves a fair shot.

  8. Everyone should hear this advocacy! As the quote says, prevention is better than cure. Hope that the government will consider their participation on this.

  9. I'm so glad that I was able to do these things for my son. I always want to ensure his health is never compromised.

  10. I totally agree on this post. Vaccines should be affordable so that even less fortunate families can afford it. Thank you so much for sharing. God Bless

  11. This is a great advocacy! I never realized how serious this can be since I was a blessed child. Thank you for sharing. Hope when I get a child of my own someday, he/she will have a fair shot. I signed the petition 🙂 -Me-An

  12. Yes, I hope vaccines will be priced lower, some were provided by our government but, unfortunately, not all residents were given the privilege, thankyou for sharing so informative

  13. Great advocacy, but why not petition the gov't to this out for FREE instead? They can exclude the rich Barangays and focus instead on those that need it the most. Even Php 250 is out of reach by the families that need it the most – Sonnie

  14. You known just today I was discussing with my father in law how is being prescribed medicine that costs home $1 per tablet. Surprisingly the tabled with the same salts that is $1 for a strip of 12, is just not stocked.

  15. Also it is so important and drugs and vaccines are made available to more and more kids, but the pharma companies give a damn. Sad

  16. I agree that vaccines should be priced lower. It is not fair or just that children should not have access because they cannot afford the vaccine. keep up the good work!

  17. This is a very good advocacy. Medicines and vaccines should be priced lower. I am telling you from my personal experience having my dad previously co-founding a pharmaceutical company that the cost of medicine is raised to astronomical scales by advertising and sponsoring doctors.

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