sanofi-aventis to Donate 100 Million Swine Flu Vaccinations to WHO

Christopher A. Viehbacher, Chief Executive Officer of sanofi-aventis, a leading global pharmaceutical company, declared at the June 17 opening session of the Pacific Health Summit in Seattle that the company will donate 100 million doses of the novel A(H1N1) influenza strain the World Health Organization (WHO).

"I want to back Director-General of WHO’s call for common action to fight the influenza pandemic," Viehbacher said. "This is our collective responsibility, as companies, as an industry, as national health authorities, as NGOs, as Foundations, to pool our collective strengths as well as our dedication and our motivation to find solutions that are affordable for every patient throughout the world."

This donation is tailored to respond to the 2009 influenza pandemic and includes a previous commitment made by the company in 2008 in the context of the A(H5N1) pandemic threat.

"Exceptional times request exceptional responses. We need to act responsibly, and we all have to play our part. That is the reason why we intend to donate 100 million doses of influenza vaccine to the World Health Organization (WHO) to help developing countries face the influenza pandemic," Viehbacher said. "The emerging A(H1N1) and A(H5N1) influenza viruses are currently present in many countries including some of the poorest regions of the world. This flexible donation aims to help the WHO address the needs of these most vulnerable populations."

Once production of A(H1N1) vaccine begins, Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of sanofi-aventis Group, will reserve 10 percent of its output for the WHO as a donation to help address the influenza pandemic in developing countries. In the event that Sanofi Pasteur’s manufacturing facilities become fully committed to the production of pandemic vaccine, the company will also supply this vaccine under a tiered-pricing policy for developing countries.

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