Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
HOMMA, Akira; FABIO, José Luis di and QUADROS, Ciro de. Los laboratorios públicos productores de vacunas: el nuevo paradigma. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.4, n.4 ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891998001000001.
In Latin America and the Caribbean, public laboratories that produce vaccines have contributed in varying degrees to the control and eradication of vaccine-preventable diseases, and several of them are manufacturing vaccines that are routinely applied in national immunization programs, such as the vaccine against tuberculosis (made with the bacillus of Calmette-Guérin, BCG), the triple vaccine against diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP), tetanus toxoid (TT), the vaccine against measles and the oral vaccine against polio. Thanks to recent scientific strides, one can foresee an important increase in the number of safe and effective vaccines that will be available in the near future for use in routine vaccination programs. However, there are high costs involved in developing such vaccines and in protecting the intellectual property rights involved, and few laboratories in Latin America have the technical capacity to research and develop these vaccines. Such factors will affect the speed with which they are assimilated into vaccination programs in countries of the Region. Currently, public laboratories that manufacture vaccines in the Region are not equipped to compete in this new scenario and run the risk of being completely outmarketed. Thus, they must radically change their style of management and their scientific and technical capabilities, backed by a commitment from governments to improve and strengthen those political and financial aspects that can assure that national laboratories participate in the sustainable supply of vaccines to immunization programs, as well as in researching, developing, and producing new vaccines.