GlaxoSmithKline's pricing of AZT to be investigated
Officials from the California Public Employees Retirement System, responding to complaints from AIDS advocates who say that pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline charges consumers 32 times the cost of making the anti-HIV drug AZT, announced Wednesday that they are launching an investigation into the pricing of the drug. CalPERS, the second-largest pension fund in the country, holds an estimated $1 billion in Glaxo stock. CalPERS officials plan to look into how Glaxo's pricing policies impact people in California who need anti-HIV medications and whether the cost of the drug is prohibitory. "We're heartened that CalPERS is willing to ask [Glaxo] for hard numbers on the pricing for AZT," said AIDS Healthcare Foundation spokesperson Ged Kenslea. "If Glaxo fails to comply, we will urge CalPERS and other investors to divest."