CalPERS Will Investigate GlaxoSmithKline’s Pricing Policies on Antiretroviral Drug Retrovir
In response to requests from AIDS advocates who say that the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline charges consumers 32 times the cost of manufacturing its antiretroviral drug Retrovir, officials from the California Public Employees Retirement System yesterday said they would investigate the company's pricing policies, according to an AIDS Healthcare Foundation press release. CalPERS, the nation's second-largest pension fund, said it would look into the effect GSK's pricing has on its beneficiaries, the state and people who need AIDS medications. AHF spokesperson Ged Kenslea said, "We're heartened CalPERS is willing to ask GSK for hard numbers on the pricing for AZT. ... If Glaxo fails to comply, we will urge CalPERS and other investors to divest." CalPERS holds an estimated $1 billion in GSK stock (AHF release, 12/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.