New drugs will be cheaper says GSK chief

Following a major overhaul at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) the firm has seen the rate on return of its research improve by 30 per cent in the past three to four years. Traditionally pharmaceutical firms have researched a portfolio of drugs, expecting some to fail while those that succeed recoup the losses of failed projects. Now chief executive Andrew Witty says new drugs don't need to be so expensive.

It's not unrealistic to expect that new innovations ought to be priced at or below, in some cases, the prices that have pre-existed them. We haven't seen that in recent eras of the [pharmaceutical] industry but it is completely normal in other industries.

If you stop failing so often you massively reduce the cost of drug development ... it's why we are beginning to be able to price lower. It's entirely achievable that we can improve the efficiency of the industry and pass that forward in terms of reduced prices.