GlaxoSmithKline: Making Superprofits from Death

Mar 09, 2001

Pharmaceutical Industry puts profit before people. We turn the spotlight on them.

Glaxosmithkline makes £10,000 a minute (and 21 die.) That was the headline of an excellent article in the Daily Mirror for 21 February. For more information on how multinational drugs companies have condemned thousands to death for the sake of their profits, see other pages on this site refering to GSK.

Imperial College Campaign

At Imperial College London the university rector is a director of GlaxoSmithKline. The college Globalise Resistance group has set itself the target of collecting 5000 signatures on a petition demanding he resigns – there are 6000 students. They are asking lecturers for lesson time to collect signatures.

Protests on 5 March

Protests took place in Central London, Brentford, Manchester, Crawley, Dartford, Birmingham and Cambridge. That was in Britain. There were angry protests in Cape Town, South Africa – see photo, right. GSK is leading a legal attempt in South Africa by the drugs companies to ban “generic” drugs which can treat people with HIV/AIDS for a fraction of the price of their branded medications.

Crawley

The protest in Crawley caused GSK to close their gates and call the cops – who did nothing but shiver in their car. The protest got coverage & quotes in the local press and on local teletext.

Brentford

Thirty people, including gay activists and a Globalise Resistance group from a local college, picketed Glaxo Smith Kline in West London. The press was there with cameras from CNN and Sky. The Brentford demo got a column on page 2 (national news) in all the late editions of the local paper, mentioning that the protest was organised by Globalise Resistance. It also got coverage and a photo in the gay press from the Pink Paper.

Central London

The central London protest organised by VSO, ACTSA and Oxfam went very well. About 50 people met outside South Africa House to the sound of African music. Cheryl Carolus, the South African High Commissioner, addressed the group before we walked to the PMA headquarters to present a letter about the court case. The protest got good reactions from passers by (some joined in) and 500 leaflets were handed out. Lots of TV crews and journalists attended the press conference at the start.

Manchester

Globalise Resistance members gathered outside Boots in central Manchester with giant pills comparing the size of GSK’s profits with the health budgets of most African countries. Picture right.

Cambridge

About 35-40 people attended a protest against GSK on 5 March. We started in the center of town, petitioning and giving out leaflets then proceeded (not technically a march given that we didn’t give the police enough notice for that – it just happened that 40 people with banners, etc. all walked in the same direction at the same time) to a GSK sponsored lab. Here we held a minutes silence then handed in the petition (about 30 signatures in a couple of hours) to be passed on to GSK HQ. The event got coverage in the local paper and student press. The protest was organised by Cambridge University People and Planet.

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