GlaxoSmithKline cuts AIDS drugs prices
Date: 28 Apr 2003
Just days after Calpers, the California Public Employees Retirement Scheme, called for GlaxoSmithKline to cut its price of HIV/AIDS drugs for developing countries, the company has announced that it is to do just that.
The company has reduced the price of Combivir by nearly 50 percent to 90 cents per day. It said that the reductions have been made possible by continuing improvements to the manufacturing process leading to economies of scale.
"These price cuts demonstrate our commitment to making vital medicines
more affordable through sustainable preferential pricing," said Jean-Pierre Garnier, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline. "In June 2001, when we expanded our access programme, we promised to continue to find ways to reduce costs and pass those savings on to patients. We did that in September 2002, and today we are again delivering on our promise."
GSK's not-for-profit prices on AIDS drugs covers a wide range of customers in the Least Developed Countries - a total of 63 countries.
Sean Harrigan, President of the Calpers Board of Administration said: "Glaxo should be commended for this move. It is a significant step forward for the company. We asked the company to examine the price of their AIDS therapy drugs and offer the lowest possible price without long-term harm to the company. Glaxo has answered with good news that will help advance the HIV work in the world's poorest countries while considering the financial health of its shareholders."
Jean-Paul Garnier went on to call for others to do their share in addressing the problem. "Improved healthcare in the developing world can only be delivered if the significant barriers that stand in the way of better access are tackled as a shared responsibility by all sectors of global society -- governments, international agencies, charities, academic institutions, the pharmaceutical industry and others. The forthcoming G8 meeting in Evian presents an early opportunity for the developed world to demonstrate its commitment and leadership in addressing this global challenge."
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