PharmExec Blog

Witty Proposes Price Cap for Poor Nations

GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty proposed Friday to slash drug prices in the world’s 50 poorest countries and reinvest 20 percent of the profits in bolstering local health care. In a speech at Harvard Medical School Friday, Witty said drug prices will be capped at 25 percent of what they cost in developed nations. He also proposed that drug companies and NGO’s contribute their research to a patent pool to accelerate development of treatments for neglected tropical diseases

Before his speech, Witty told the Wall Street Journal that the cuts won’t affect GSK very much, noting that 20 percent of its profits in the poorest countries would total between GBP 1 million and GBP 2 million per year. According to the Journal, GSK’s hepatitis B, genital herpes, malaria and asthma meds will be among those hit with a price cut.

In the February issue, Pharm Exec tackled the complex issue of access, and highlighted some of the new models pharma is using to bridge the gap between wealth and health. For the story, Executive Editor Joanna Breitstein spoke with Kate Taylor, vice president of global vaccine policy at GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, about the challenges global access poses for the pharma industry.

Click here for an edited version of the interview transcript.

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