A huge price difference exists between countries classified as “FMD-Free-without-vaccination” for which demand exceeds supply, and countries listed as “FMD-Free-with-vaccination” where supply historically has exceeded demand. The price difference has been several hundred per cent, whereby serum users in the US have paid billions of USD more than serum users in the EU. Proposals from USDA to harmonize US and EU import rules for FBS relating to FMD (following OIE guidelines), have repeatedly been turned down by the US serum industry.
Wrong beliefs about risks associated to BSE have lead some FBS providers to promote the Australian origin as “safer” without any scientific basis, making this origin several times more expensive than any other. The Australia “safer” status is being promoted, despite the virus status of Australia; and despite the higher risk of misrepresentation associated with such huge price differences.
The price differences persist due to longtime marketing efforts promoting certain origins, and regulations limiting trade, even among countries that according to the OIE’s classification have identical veterinary risk status (regarding viruses of import concern for FBS). ISIA has among its objectives the education of serum users, and EU and USA are working to harmonize trade rules, all of which will contribute to harmonizing price levels for most FBS origins.