Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Open Source Medicine and Inherited Crunchiness

GlaxoSmithKline is cutting prices and pooling patents.

Which is a good thing. And can't not be a business move.

CEO Andrew Witty says:

I think the shareholders understand this and it's my job to make sure I can explain it. I think we can. I think it's absolutely the kind of thing large global companies need to be demonstrating, that they've got a more balanced view of the world than short-term returns.

So. Focus on long-term returns. Excellent.

And what else?

Marketing? Warmth and fuzziness for existing customers? Warmth and fuzziness for new customers?

But how?

GSK owns Aquafresh, Sensodyne, Nicorette, Breathe Right, and heaps of brand name medicines. Would people switch from Crest and Colgate if they knew Aquafresh's parent company just decided to increase their commitment to saving lives in the developing world? Should they?

I hope so.

I think.

But I guess what I really hope is that GSK demands that all of its subsidiaries start demonstrating "a more balanced view of the world than short-term returns."

Thanks to Alexa for spreading the news (and for getting on the inside and pushing for big things).

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