Tuesday, July 07, 2009

WSJ video: Pfizer targets Venezuela's working poor

Pfizer's drugs in Venezuela are about 30% cheaper than in the US, and the company does give out 10-20% discount coupons.

However, the video says branded drugs can still eat up 25% of a working person's salary - in the US, we would consider those medical expenses to be catastrophic. Pfizer and other pharma companies are right to emphasize higher quality, given that WHO data shows that as many as 30% of generic drugs in developing countries are counterfeit. However, generic drugs usually work as well as branded drugs and are cheaper - meaning that we need to expand access to generic medicines in poorer countries.

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