Pfizer CEO Hank McKinnell Discusses Company’s Role in Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Guardian Interview
London's Guardian on Thursday published an interview with Hank McKinnell, CEO of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, about the company's role in the global fight against HIV/AIDS. McKinnell was the only pharmaceutical company head who attended the XV International AIDS Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, in July because he "believe[s] just as we ask our parents and grandparents what they did in the second World War, I think our children and grandchildren will ask us what we did at the beginning of the HIV/AIDS pandemic," McKinnell said. Pfizer has donated its drug Diflucan -- which is used to treat fungal infections -- to 22 developing countries; has established the Infectious Diseases Institute in Kampala, Uganda; and currently is developing two "promising" antiretroviral drugs, the Guardian reports. However, McKinnell continues to receive criticism from some advocacy groups, including Medecins Sans Frontieres and Oxfam, who say that "rock-bottom prices for poor people are a better long-term answer" and that Pfizer's current actions are for the company's benefit, according to the Guardian. According to McKinnell, Pfizer's role in the fight against HIV/AIDS has been "misunderstood," the Guardian reports (Boseley, Guardian, 9/23). The complete article is available online.
A kaisernetwork.org Newsmaker interview with McKinnell is available online.