Glaxo, UK firm settle AIDS drug diversion case

GlaxoSmithKline Plc has settled a long-running legal dispute over the diversion of AIDS drugs destined for Africa, Europe’s biggest drugmaker said on Friday.

The world’s largest supplier of antiretroviral medicines had accused UK-based Dowelhurst Ltd of selling batches of AIDS pills in Britain that were supposed to be used in Francophone West Africa.

Dowelhurst maintained that it purchased and resold the medicines in good faith.

GSK said both sides continued to believe in their respective arguments but had agreed to a compromise under which GSK dropped its action against Dowelhurst in exchange for Dowelhurst making undisclosed payments to several HIV/AIDS charities in Africa.

GSK and other major pharmaceutical companies have been selling AIDS drugs in Africa at deeply discounted prices for several years but have been battling to prevent diversion of supplies to developed markets, where prices are much higher.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 18, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD