CalPERS will send a letter to GlaxoSmithKline officials asking them to evaluate their anti-AIDS humanitarian efforts, and to consider opportunities to boost those efforts through licensing the companys anti-AIDS drug AZT. The letter asks drug company officials to weigh the risks of offering the drug at the lowest possible price "without long-term harm to the company while bearing in mind potential risks to the companys reputation.
The board of the $131 billion California Public Employees Retirement System, Sacramento, has rebuffed efforts by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to get CalPERS to divest its $760 million in GlaxoSmithKline stock. The foundations initial lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company, over its patent for AZT, was dismissed on March 5. The foundation has filed a second suit charging the company with falsely advertising that it offers the drug on a not-for-profit basis in developing countries, according to a memo from CalPERS staff.
CalPERS was "unable to substantiate the claims raised by AHF regarding GSKs pricing comparisons, according to the memo, adding that the drug company does have a wide-ranging humanitarian program.