April 28, 2003
GlaxoSmithKline also said it was reducing the price of its other drugs to treat HIV/AIDS, including AZT, which would be available for 75 cents a day. The prices are available to qualified customers in 63 countries, including all of sub-Saharan Africa.
In cutting these prices, Glaxo CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier said the company is making good on a two-year-old commitment to provide AIDS drugs to impoverished countries at no profit. Last September, the company reduced prices to poor countries by as much as a third. Last year, Glaxo supplied nearly 6 million tablets of Combivir to developing countries, the company said, up from about 2 million tablets in 2001.
Glaxo said it is able to reduce the drugs' prices because it is making them less expensively, the result of improved manufacturing techniques and deals it has struck with some of the suppliers of raw materials that go into the medicines. Drug companies have come under intense pressure to lower the cost of these drugs so patients in poor countries can get them, and Glaxo has come under particular criticism because of its size in the market.
New York Times
04.28.03; Reed Abelson
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