Words by c.z.robertson

Glaxo reduces drug costs

2001-06-12 02:00:00 UTC

The Guardian is reporting that Glaxo has cut drug costs for the developing world. I can't say I'm very happy about this. I'm particularly unhappy that our government is shirking its responsibilities by supporting actions like this rather than solving the root cause of the problem.

The drug companies have been put in a position where they can hold us to ransom because they have a monopoly on the drugs that they develop. This monopoly is granted by the various governments of the world, and the only people in a position to remove or limit this monopoly are governments. Relying on the goodwill of companies is, to my mind, a highly risky strategy.

In reducing the costs of their drugs Glaxo have reduced the pressure to change the patent system. This is only a victory in the short-term.