Glaxo price cuts not enough Apr03
welcome GlaxoSmithKline's decision to slash the price of its Aids drugs in
poor countries to just under one dollar a day ("Glaxo cuts price of
Aids drugs in poor countries" 28/04/03) as a vital step towards
improving access to life-saving antiretroviral medicines in those parts of
the developing world hardest hit by the AIDS virus.
this announcement is long overdue. Earlier action by GSK could have
prevented a significant number of deaths throughout the world's poorest
countries, action which I strongly recommended over two years ago as
author of the European Parliament's Report on "Combating communicable
diseases: HIV/AIDS, TB & Malaria".
the pharmaceutical industry will now take note of one of my other
recommendations which specified the need for distinctive shape, colour and
packaging of drugs destined for the poor at lower prices, in order to stop
re-export of these drugs by irresponsible traders and corrupt politicians.
This is now imperative given Glaxo's decision to halve the price of Aids
drugs which presents further opportunities for profiteering by illegal