Global Marketing Strategy
Ethically, it is irrefutable that people in resource-poor settings have a right to antiretroviral drugs though they may be expensive. The right to quality life and health is sacrosanct. Access to these drugs should be a combined effort between the drug manufacturing company’s, rich countries and the local governments. The drug manufacturers need to avail the drugs or allow local drug manufacturing companies in resource poor countries to produce them without having to pay for the patent rights which should greatly reduce the final consumer price.
Additionally, AIDS should not be seen a catastrophe that affects some populations. In resource-poor settings where there exists greater demand on scarce resources, it is the responsibility of the people of the world to guarantee quality health care to those in resource-poor settings. 2. When there is price differentiation of a product that is in great demand and the manufacturer cannot strictly control access of the product across the different markets, it gives rise to grey markets and parallel imports.
Grey markets will arise from the risk of drugs produced under license in a poor setting economy for the poor and priced cheaply, finding their way back to the rich economies where the pharmaceutical company’s sell at a higher price. Given access and choice, HIV/AIDS patients in developed countries are likely to buy cheap AIDS treatment from Brazil and India. In actual fact, the made-in issue looses relevance when dealing with life saving medicine.
Given that the active ingredients in drugs manufactured in developed countries and those from developing countries are the same, it really does not matter where it is made so long as it does what it claims to do. 3. In developed markets, Cipla and Brazilian Aids manufacturers are not potential competitors at least in the short-run. However over the long-run, this is bound to change. Given their increased access to quality researchers, funding and know-how, it is only a matter of time before they also are able to create what drugs manufacturers currently singularly create.
Within WTO provisions especially as concerns HIV/AIDS generic drugs in low purchasing power countries, there currently exists a provision relaxing patent law and allowing production of generics for the developing countries markets (World Trade Organization, 2003). The generic manufacturers are however strictly forbidden from competing against pharmaceutical companies in the high purchasing power markets with the cheap generics. 4. Drugs can and should not be regarded as a standard marketable product.
They are not a luxury and sick people can not choose to do without them. It should be noted that access to quality health should never be a negotiable point but rather a fundamental right. Manufacturers of drugs, have a responsibility to make sure drugs are available to patients at a reasonable price. For large pharmaceutical companies, the AIDS drugs should not be used as a profit generation item or vehicle. Given the pandemic that has affected the world in relation to AIDS, this is not an issue of the manufacturers’ corporate social responsibility.
Rather, it must be moved and driven by corporations’ ethics. At the end of the day, the people who get saved by the antiretroviral drugs are future consumers of the manufacturers’ products. Additionally, when it comes to the survival of humanity, it should not be left to a company to decide whether or not to do something as is the case with social responsibility, rather is should be mandatory for the company to contribute fully to this effort.
5. With the increased information flow, public perception is critical to success of organizations. The AIDS drugs pricing issue has of late had public figure expressing outrage about the unavailability of life saving drugs at an affordable price to poor countries. This has made the pharmaceutical companies to sit up and notice the effect of negative publicity in their most lucrative markets.
The negative publicity has the potential of making people boycott particular brands manufactured by specific pharmaceuticals which would affect their bottom line. In as much as the antiretroviral offer a very lucrative product, the companies seem to have decided not to jeopardize other brands within their portfolios. Reference: World Trade Organization (2003). Decision removes final patent obstacle to cheap drug imports. WTO News Press Releases (August 30). Retrieved May 1, 2010 from http://www. wto. org/english/news_e/pres03_e/pr350_e. htm.