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AIDS Healthcare Foundation urges support for Glaxo boycott after alleged pressure on Canadian drug wholesalers

LOS ANGELES, CA., Feb. 7, 2003 -- AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the nation's largest AIDS organization, has called on concerned citizens worldwide to vigorously support a grassroots product boycott against British multi-national pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK).    

Canadian Drugstore, an online Canadian pharmacy, started an e-mail and postal campaign urging its U.S. customers to reconsider buying Glaxo's over-the-counter products after Glaxo, Europe's biggest drug maker, told wholesalers to stop selling drugs to 29 Canadian retailers that sold to U.S. customers, according to a report in the Times of London (Feb. 6, 2003).    

Last week, Canadian drug wholesaler United Pharmacists Ltd. said it has ceased supplying GlaxoSmithKline treatments to pharmacies that sell such drugs to U.S. residents over the Internet.    

According to a Bloomberg News Service article on the issue, Canadian drug prices are often as much as 80 percent lower than those in the U.S., because they're capped by law, and U.S. citizens, especially elderly people, often cross the border to buy medicines.    

"It's hard to think of anything more unconscionable, greedy and heartless than denying low-income people with AIDS access to life-saving AIDS medications," said Michael Weinstein, AHF president. "PWAs in the U.S. are being forced to pay far too much for GSK drugs. PWAs should be able to buy lower priced drugs rather than choose between their anti-retroviral treatment and rent. Glaxo is now punishing low-income people with AIDS on both sides of the border and we wholeheartedly support this boycott of GlaxoSmithKline products."

Source: AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Posted: February 2003

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