Glaxosmithkline and Aids Drugs for Africa

1195 WordsApr 27, 20115 Pages
GlaxoSmithKline and AIDS Drugs for Africa What comes to mind when you hear the words “pharmaceutical company”? There are many ways to define a pharmaceutical company. According to the Princeton review, a pharmaceutical company is a drug company that makes and sells pharmaceuticals. Another definition for a pharmaceutical company is an industry that develops, produces, and markets drugs licensed for use as generic and/or brand medications. These companies are subject to a variety of laws and regulations regarding the patenting, testing and marketing of drugs. One of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world today is GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK). GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) was formed in December 2000 through a merger of…show more content…
For example, living in Zambia where 60 percent of the population had AIDS and lived on less than $18 a month. The high incidence of AIDS and high death rates from the disease in Africa were only partially due to the high cost of medicine. Other factors that also played a part in the high death rate consisted of poor nutrition, lack of clean water and sanitation, measles, lack of medical infrastructure to distribute or monitor demanding drug treatments, lack of education, and culture. With the AIDS epidemic in Africa, and GSK being the world’s leading maker of medicines for the treatment of AIDS, GSK had been criticized by public health, human rights, and shareholder activists for not doing enough to ensure access to these drugs being that GSK owned the intellectual property rights, which were drawn up by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO’s main function was to negotiate multilateral agreements on issues related to international trade, which had a profound impact on the distribution and pricing of AIDS drugs in Africa. In 1997, the WTO adopted an agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights, known as TRIPS. Under this agreement, all WTO member nations would be required to adopt national legislation giving patent holders marketing rights for a period of 20 years. However, the TRIPS agreement did permit some exceptions to protect public health by giving developing countries an

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