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GlaxoSmithKline and Access to Essential Medicines (B)


Economics, Marketing

Publication Year



The merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKlineBeecham in 2000 created the worlds second largest pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKilne. GSK also became the world’s leader in the provision of drugs to treat the three most critical diseases in the developing world: HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. In addition to merger related strategy and restructuring activities, the company finds itself having to respond to pressures to increase access to these essential medicines in developing countries, including the possibility of major reductions in price. The (A) case asks: How should GSK respond to these pressures? The (B) case summarizes GSK’s responses of 2002 and subsequent events. Primary teaching objectives are: 1) To examine an issue of corporate social responsibility that has major implications for business strategy and challenges the industry business model; 2) To explore CSR strategy alternatives and tactical responses within the context of the access issue.

Topic List

HIV/AIDS, Access to Essential Medicines, Pricing, Healthcare in Developing Countires, Nongovernmental Organisations, Corporate Social Responsibility



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Smith, N C

Available on ECCH


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