Glaxo's Asian price cuts boost sales

As promised, GlaxoSmithKline has begun cutting prices in emerging markets. It's part of CEO Andrew Witty's (photo) push to make products more accessible; in offering discounts so that more customers can afford to buy them, Glaxo aims to sell more drugs. What it loses on price it may make up on volume--and in good will.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Witty said Glaxo reduced prices on 28 products in the Phillippines by 30 percent to 50 percent. The price tag on its cervical cancer vaccine, Cervarix, has been reduced in Thailand, Malaysia, and other countries in Asia. And the company is mulling other price cuts in Asian markets, he said. "We're ready to be flexible in our business model to be sure (Glaxo) is suited to the markets where we're working," Witty told the Journal.

Already, the price reductions in the Phillippines have started to bear fruit; since the cuts were made in March, volume in certain brands has growth by 15 percent to 40 percent. The company has been promoting the lower prices to doctors, which has helped to increase sales, Witty said.

- read the WSJ story