Drug company lobbyist joins Oxfam's cheap drugs campaign
A senior lobbyist in the pharmaceutical industry is leaving his job to help to spearhead the battle for cheaper drugs to be made available in the developing world. David Earnshaw, director of European government affairs for SmithKline Beecham, will next month join Oxfam and lead its campaign on access to medicines.
Oxfam has been at the forefront of the growing confrontation over the costs of drugs to the developing world, especially AIDS and HIV treatment, and Mr Earnshaw is highly critical of the role of the industry he left earlier this year. “My view on the access to medicines issue is that the industry has been very stupid. Crass stupidity is a good description. They have risked blowing everything they hold so dear - like their intellectual property protection - for what is a very tiny fraction of their revenue,” he told the BMJ. “The developing world market accounts for