GSK To Offer Flexible Drug Pricing In Middle-Income Countries

Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) “plans to bolster earnings by selling to more people in middle-income countries after cutting prices in the world’s poorest nations,” Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports.

“Our strategy is to grow our business in middle-income countries by increasing the volume of products we sell,” GSK Chief Executive Andrew Witty said by e-mail, according to the news service. “Extending [GSK’s] flexible pricing program for such nations would ‘improve the affordability of our medicines, increase access for patients with lower income levels and be profitable for GSK,’ he said.”

Middle-income countries vary “in terms of economic status, demography and health-care infrastructure which can vary significantly,” Witty explained, the news service continues. “Taking a single pricing approach would be difficult, inappropriate and inequitable,” he added. The news service notes Witty did not name individual countries (Ghosh, 3/9).

The Hindu Business Line reports on GSK’s rationale for the customized approach to pricing for middle-income countries (Datta, 3/9).  

“The long-term purpose of the initiative is to make its medicines accessible to all income groups,” Economic Times/India Times reports. “The strategy will be executed through a combination of alliances with local firms or reduction of prices of selective brands,” according to the news paper (Singh/Kumar, 3/10). Economic Times/India Times also features an interview with Witty (Singh/Kumar, 3/10).

In related news, Witty was in Nashik, India, on Monday to dedicate a new factory that will produce “albendazole, part of a combination treatment used within the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (LF),” according to a GSK press release. The new facility “is expected to deliver 300 million tablets” of albendazole this year, the press release notes (3/8).

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