SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, a British-based drug company, has requested permission from the US government to import and experiment with a vaccine developed in Cuba.
The vaccine for Meningitis B has been developed and deployed across Cuba. It has also been sold to other Latin American countries.
The United States has no vaccine for this disease. Each year about 120 people in the US die from it.
Cuba has an advanced biotechnology industry and would stand to profit greatly off the sale to SmithKline. For this reason, supporters of the U.S. economic blockade oppose the sale.