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Every day, Non Governmental Organization NGOs is confronted with the lack of access to adequate or affordable medical tools in the field. They face two major challenges the high cost of existing medicines on the one hand, and the absence of appropriate or effective treatments for many of the diseases affecting our patients on the other, we are talking about Neglected Tropical Disease NTD in the Least developed Countries LDCs.
Andrew Witty, Chief Executive Officer of Glaxo Smith Klein (GSK) delivered a speech at the Harvard Business School in Boston on February 2009 entitled “Big pharma a catalyst for Change” focused on two issues: a) promoting innovation to prevent or treat NTDs in the world’s Least Developed Countries by creating a “pharmaceutical patent pool”; b) improving the access to medicine in the poorer countries by lowering the prices of GSK’s medicines.
In deed, we are assisting a radical change in pharma Business model, we are moving from conflict to collaboration through the Medicines Patent Pool in the hope that it speed up access to newer medicines, and boost initiatives that make use of alternative financing mechanisms in order to develop new, more appropriate treatments that respond to medical needs.
On the other hand the pricing strategy dilemma facing the generic manufacturers and the non inclusion of HIV which is a major neglected disease in LDCs in the patent pool may compromise the success of such business model.
In order to deal with that two issues, GSK should include HIV drugs in their patent pool as other manufacturers and NGO are doing, and concerning the pricing strategy they should emphasize on the high quality of the original drug mandatory to eradicate this NTDs and communicate more on the fact that GSK will invest 20% of these drugs profit to improve the infrastructure of these LDCs.