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GlaxoSmithKline Seeks No Patent to Make Medicines More Affordable for Poor Nations

March 31
11:45 PM 2016

GlaxoSmithKline will make it easier for developing countries to buy medicines as they make it more affordable by waiving patent protection for new drugs in the world's most unfortunate countries.

GSK which is Britain's biggest drug maker stated that no patents will be filed for new medicines in the destitute nations including Afghanistan, Cambodia and Rwanda and will enable inexpensive generic versions to enter into the market without the worries of legal action. And on Thursday, said it would follow a graduated way to patenting its medicines, based on the fortune of different countries, to make medicines more reasonable to pay in developing countries.

GSK chief executive Andrew Witty mentioned that the move has already been implemented in some countries, but wanted to make it simpler, more productive and more effective approach to "recognize the realities of the world".

Based on The Guardian report, the company will offer licenses to generic drug makers for 10 years in return for a little sales royalty. This would be applicable in middle income countries like Kosovo, Morocco, Pakistan and Ukraine.  The course will manifest 85 countries benefitting more than 2 billion people, most especially Africa. Any medicines under GSK listed on WHO's essential medicines will be automatically included.

Moreover, GSK plans to provide poor countries access to its next-generation cancer drugs by enabling rivals access to its intellectual property via the UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool. Last year, it has sold its developed cancer drugs to Novartis in an asset exchange. It still is developing on a number of experimental of immune-oncology and epigenetic cancer therapies.

The increasing demand for the newest-life-saving drugs in developing nations such as Brazil, India and Thailand has led to conclude compulsory licenses, allowing local manufacture without the patent holder's permission, as reported by The Business Time.

"We'll create a simple-to-access, one-stop point of information so people can see exactly where our patents are," Glaxo Chief Executive Officer Andrew Witty told reporters on a conference call.

The pharmaceutical company's move indicates the latest drive by the pharmaceuticals industry to acknowledge criticism that several new drugs are too expensive for billions of people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

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