GlaxoSmithKline Puts Malaria Patents in the Public Domain
Nearly a year ago, GlaxoSmithKline's CEO Andrew Witty announced he intended to cut drug prices in developing countries, invest in hospitals and clinics in those countries, and make GSK's drug patents for certain "neglected diseases" public.Well over the last year, GSK went through their entire store of patented compounds and now, according to The Guardian, "will publish details of 13,500 chemical compounds from its own library that have potential to act against the parasite that causes malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, killing at least one million children every year."The reaction from the community of international health nonprofits is one of restrained praise so far. Some had hoped GSK would go further, putting patents for AIDS drugs in the public domain, for example (Witty says AIDS research is well funded already).This isn't pure altruism, of course. GSK isn't taking a big financial hit by freeing up these patents because there isn't a big financial incentive to pursue malaria drug research in the first place. But this is still a laudable move and to show my appreciation I'm linking to a list of GSK's consumer healthcare products just in case you don't really care what brand of breath freshener you use and want to give Witty some positive reinforcement.