News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

Roche's tiered pricing enables poorer countries to stockpile drugs

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 06 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:63
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. Washington, DC

    The pharmaceutical company Roche is cooperating with the World Health Organization and individual governments in planning for an avian flu pandemic.

    The agreement represents a change of approach on the company's part. It initially sought to exploit the full business potential of its drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) with a strategy to go it alone.

    But negative publicity, government pressure, the threat of compulsory licensing, and limited manufacturing capacity, should such a threat materialise, led the company to change its approach.

    David Reddy, the leader of Roche's global influenza task force, explained the steps that the company had taken to respond to the challenge, at the second Bird Flu Summit in Washington, DC, on 29 June.

    Dr Reddy said that the company had introduced a tiered pricing arrangement for selling oseltamivir to help developing countries …

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