GlaxoSmithKline CEO pledges cheap medicine for world's poor - challenges other drug firms to follow lead

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17 February 2009

Letters: Big pharma's crisis of conscience

Author: Stop Aids Campaign, European Public Health Alliance, Health Action International, in Guardian [UK]

The Stop Aids Campaign welcomes the engagement of GlaxoSmithKline's chief executive, Andrew Witty, with the proposal to establish a medicines patent pool...We encourage Witty to go further and fully endorse patent pools not only for research, but for existing, patented HIV treatments such as the Unitaid patent pool (Katy Athersuch, Coordinator, Stop Aids Campaign)

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Author: Servimedia

Los laboratorios GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) se han comprometido a poner sus fármacos al alcance de los más pobres, según aseguró Andrew Witty, su nuevo responsable, al diario británico "The Guardian". Witty anunció que GSK venderá sus medicamentos en 50 de las naciones más pobres un 75% más baratos que en los países desarrollados, y también reducirá sus precios en países en vías de desarrollo como India y Brasil. Asimismo, los laboratorios compartirán a partir de ahora sus descubrimientos protegidos por patentes, con el fin de que otros investigadores puedan utilizarlos para desarrollar fármacos para algunas de las dolencias menos estudiadas...Las ONG Oxfam y Médicos Sin Fronteras han acogido con satisfacción la iniciativa de GSK, aunque consideran que también deberían liberar de patentes sus fármacos para el tratamiento del sida.

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Article
14 February 2009

Profits before the poor? Drugs giant offers an answer to the toxic question facing a 'heartless' industry

Author: Sarah Boseley, Guardian [UK]

For Andrew Witty, it's a question of redefining the unwritten contract that major drug companies have with society. For critics of big pharma, it's about addressing widely felt concerns about an industry that has often seemed heartless. Either way, the changes proposed by the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline goes to the core of one of the most toxic debates of our time.

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Article
13 February 2009

Drug giant GlaxoSmithKline pledges cheap medicine for world's poor

Author: Sarah Boseley, Guardian [UK]

The world's second biggest pharmaceutical company is to radically shift its attitude to providing cheap drugs to millions of people in the developing world. In a major change of strategy, the new head of GlaxoSmithKline, Andrew Witty, has [said] he will slash prices on all medicines in the poorest countries, give back profits to be spent on hospitals and clinics and – most ground-breaking of all – share knowledge about potential drugs that are currently protected by patents...He challenges other pharmaceutical giants to follow his lead...Campaigners gave a cautious welcome to GSK's strategy. But Oxfam and Médecins Sans Frontières both said the company should go further and include HIV drugs in the patent pool...

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