Monday, March 09, 2009

A Promise to Provide Easier Access to Medicine

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (Aquafresh, Nicorette, Tums) has recently pledged to make medicines more accessible to the world's poorest countries. The company's new chief executive, Andrew Witty, plans to make drastic cuts on medicine prices in poor countries and give back profits to hospitals and clinics. In an even more drastic change, he plans to give up the company's intellectual property rights of certain chemicals or processes to a "patent pool," allowing other researchers to study them and potentially make big advancements in important treatments. Witty's decision has stunned experts, and he hopes that it will encourage other drug companies to provide easier access to medical care around the world.
Source: The Guardian