- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 28, 2002

LOS ANGELES (AP) AIDS Healthcare Foundation, one of the largest providers of specialized care for HIV patients in the United States, said it will bar GlaxoSmithKline from marketing drugs at its outpatient sites to protest the company's pricing policies.
Although the British-based company offers reduced prices for AIDS drugs sold in the developing world, the foundation claims the drug manufacturer still charges twice as much as its competitors an accusation GlaxoSmithKline counters by noting it makes no profits on those sales.
By barring GlaxoSmithKline sales representatives from its physicians' offices, the foundation hopes to block the main channel the company uses to inform doctors directly about new products.
"Glaxo's actions have put it outside the bounds of corporate responsibility," said Michael Weinstein, president of the foundation that serves thousands of patients in California, New York and Florida.
The cost to treat a single AIDS patient with a combination of Glaxo drugs is nearly $2,000 a year, but easily could be cut to $500, according to Cesar Portillo, a foundation spokesman. He said increasing the availability of the drugs would go a long way to reducing the death toll from AIDS.
Many pharmaceutical companies discount drugs in the developing world, and GlaxoSmithKline acknowledges that some generic AIDS drugs do sell in the developing world for half the price of its comparable products.


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