Sep 26, 2016

    GlaxoSmithKline cuts drug price for refugees


    GLAXOSMITHKLINE (GSK) is cutting the price charged for its pneumococcal vaccine when given to refugees, following complaints about the product's "exorbitant" cost by medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

    The British drugmaker said last week it would provide Synflorix, which protects children against pneumonia and other diseases, at a discounted price of US$3.05 (S$4.15) per dose to recognised civil society organisations.

    In Greece, MSF said it had been forced to pay £50 (S$88) a dose in local pharmacies in order to vaccinate thousands of refugee children fleeing from conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

    GSK said its offer was made on the basis that others would not seek to reference the special price, which is intended solely to support refugee populations.

    Previously, the low price of US$3.05 price has only been available to the world's poorest countries.

    Pfizer also makes a pneumococcal vaccine called Prevnar.

    The United States company had no immediate comment on its pricing plans.