LONDON— GlaxoSmithKline PLC said it would stop seeking patents for its drugs in low-income countries, a move the drugmaker said could help the world’s poorest people access copycat versions of its medicines at affordable prices.
The U.K.-based company said it would take this approach in low-income and least-developed countries, a group totaling around 85 nations. In so-called lower-middle-income countries, a group of 51 nations that includes Vietnam, Cameroon and Sri Lanka, it said it would file patents but aim to grant licenses to generic manufacturers to supply low-cost versions of its drugs in those markets in return for a small royalty.
Glaxo previously filed patents in most lower-middle-income countries, and in low-income nations where a patent office exists. But that “patchwork” approach meant that generic drugmakers held back from manufacturing copycat medicines for these markets owing to the risk of being sued by pharmaceutical companies, according to Glaxo Chief Executive Andrew Witty.,,,,,,,,,continue reading