© RJ Matson, Roll Call

Century Marks

Let’s get together: Former president Bill Clinton got drug companies to reduce their prices on AIDS drugs for developing nations by forming countries into partnerships, like buyers’ clubs. The Clinton Foundation sought large drug orders from African and Caribbean countries on the assumption that the price could be cut substantially, and in turn it asked drug companies to offer low prices with the understanding that there would be high-volume purchases. Clinton says, “What we tried to do was to get [the drug companies] to go from what I call a ‘jewelry-store model’ to a ‘grocery-store model’—from a high-profit, low-volume, uncertain-payment business to a low-margin, high-volume, certain-payment business.” The foundation is now using a similar business model to encourage cities to buy environmentally friendly products (Atlantic, October).


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