GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty Discusses Drug Prices, Disease Outbreak Preparedness
New York Times: The Pharma CEO Who Wants to Lower Drug Prices
Andrew Witty, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
“…In a recent interview, Andrew Witty, the chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, who is retiring in March, talked about prices, epidemics, and other health issues. … [Witty:] We’ve been hearing from our customers in the U.S. and elsewhere that [drug] pricing is an issue. … If you look around the developing world it’s obvious that price plays a big role in access, which is why we’ve been so aggressive in terms of trying to make sure that price isn’t a problem for large numbers of people in the emerging markets. … We ought to be trying to develop a [drug-pricing] system that is more in step with that desire of the people who ultimately pay for the system. … [W]e could invest a relatively small amount to create a much higher standing readiness for biological defense. There’s a group originally formed between Wellcome Foundation, Gates Foundation, two or three governments, GSK was involved at the beginning, to try and encourage a more permanent standby readiness of vaccine technology development for the next possible pandemic viruses. Progress is being made on that but it’s still not implemented” (Bajaj, 10/21).