Pharmaceutical Industry fails the Poor Nov02

I refer to the article in the Guardian on 4th October by Sarah Boseley and Rory Carroll, "Profiteers resell Africa's cheap Aids drugs". I am astonished that Mr. Alan Chandler of Glaxo Smith Kline cannot understand why "illegal traders" re-export lower priced AIDS drugs destined for the poor to Europe. They do it for profit, as these drugs cannot be easily identified as distinct for a specific market! How would the public know that they are destined for people in poor countries? And how can Mr. Chandler blame others for such scams when his own company has failed to take adequate precautions to stop such trade?

I was the author of the European Parliament's Report on "Combating communicable diseases: HIV/AIDS, TB & Malaria" in which I specifically pointed out the need for distinctive shape, colour and packaging for drugs for communicable diseases destined for the poor at lower prices. I emphasised the importance of this to prevent re-export by irresponsible traders and corrupt politicians. I indicated that the media could be used to publicise information in Europe, the USA and industrialised countries about distinctive and different packaging for drugs for the poor. This would allow the public to name and shame those wholesalers and pharmacies re-importing and selling in their communities.

Glaxo and other pharmaceutical companies are fully aware of the recommendations in my Report but they have failed to produce, register and sell these drugs with distinctive packaging that can easily prevent illegal traders from profiteering. I suggest they stop the rhetoric and take action to help the poor who continue to suffer and die from these diseases