GlaxoSmithKline’s Kenyan Unit Plans to Reduce Cost of Medications by 50%

GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK)’s Kenyan unit will cut prices of “essential” drugs by 50 percent to boost volumes, Managing Director John Musunga said.

In 2009, the Nairobi-based company lowered the cost of some of its drugs by 10 percent, followed by a 40 percent reduction last year in the price of Avamys, an asthma medication, which raised sales by 60 percent, Musunga said in an interview today.

“What that has shown us is that people like good-quality medicine, but are not able to afford it,” he said. “We cannot afford to focus only on the high-income social groups.”

GlaxoSmithKline is cutting prices in Kenya as part of a plan to reduce the cost of its “essential” drugs in developing countries to as little as 25 percent of prices in the developed world, the company said in a statement today.

“Reducing prices of antibiotics, asthma medicines and dewormers will enable poor households to afford quality medication within their meagre budgets,” it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Richardson at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net

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