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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So Brazil's Fundacao Oswaldo Cruz has partnered with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to vaccinate close to 100 million children in Brazil against measles, mumps and rubella over the next five years.

Fiocruz, as the foundation is known, will spend US$142 million to buy the vaccines and to build a plant to carry out secondary production for GSK. The vaccines will be made in Belgium, then packaged, labeled and distributed in Brazil. The plant, which is expected to begin operations in the second half of 2004, represents a big step forward in the country's pharmaceutical sector, says Russell Greig, president for pharmaceuticals international at GSK.

"As expertise grows, [Brazil] will go up the feeding chain and start producing vaccines," says Greig. The company's vaccine sales grew an estimated 12% in developing markets from 2000 to 2002, which Greig attributes to governments recognizing the need to improve healthcare standards. Such plants also represent significant foreign investment.

But GSK isn't ready to make a deal with the rest of the region out of fear that its vaccine formula could slip out. "Building trust is an important element to these deals," says Greig.
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Title Annotation:Trade Talk
Author:Guevara, Michelle
Publication:Latin Trade
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:3BRAZ
Date:Jan 1, 2004
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