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Danaher, it's Time to put People over Profits

hourglass illustration with red sand and 'TB' in bold red text in the top section Tuberculosis is curable, yet 1.6 million people die of tuberculosis every year while Danaher grossly overcharges for diagnostic tests for the people who can least afford it.


Tuberculosis is the world's deadliest infectious disease.

A total of 1.6 million people died from tuberculosis (TB) in 2021, making it the most deadly infectious disease worldwide—ahead of both HIV/AIDS and COVID-19...even though it's curable.

While an estimated 74 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2021, these are prohibitively expensive to the point that many who need them can’t afford it.

Roughly 3 in 5 patients with multidrug-resistant TB do not have access to proper testing to find out if their TB is a multidrug-resistant strain. As a result, over half of them end up receiving long, expensive treatments that won't even help.

Enter Danaher.

Danaher is a large U.S. corporation that owns many smaller biotech companies, including Cepheid. Cepheid designs and manufactures diagnostic tests. Their MTB/RIF GeneXpert test determines whether someone has tuberculosis and whether it is resistant to one antibiotic, and their MTB/XDR test determines if the infection is extensively drug-resistant or not, enabling effective treatment.

GeneXpert tests give fast and accurate results without the need for a fully equipped laboratory, which theoretically makes them ideal for use in countries with limited healthcare infrastructure, where results could otherwise take days or weeks to arrive.

Sounds great, right?

Not quite...

Danaher uses what many call a “printer-ink” business model when it comes to the GeneXpert system. While a printer is usually sold for a reasonable price, the ink is often extremely expensive with a high profit margin. Danaher prices GeneXpert tests in a similar way.

The reusable machines used to process these tests are moderately priced, but the single-use Xpert cartridges are extremely expensive. After years of public pressure from health organizations, Danaher has agreed to reduce the price of their standard TB cartridges from $10 to $8 for low- and middle-income countries. While this is a step in the right direction, it is just the first step.

Profits over People.

Xpert cartridges for extensively drug-resistant TB are still priced at $15, which is much higher than the production costs calculated as part of MSF-commissioned research. We do not have access to detailed production information from Danaher at this time, and we look forward to the transparency that will come with their pledged third party audit, but the bottom line is that we know it’s simply not affordable for the people who need them most.

We call on Cepheid and Danaher to prioritize people’s lives over maximizing profits by extending their commitment and reducing the price for extensively drug-resistant cartridges in low- and middle-income countries.

Support TBFighters:

Threats and intimidation are never okay. Be polite and respectful in all interactions, regardless of any challenges you encounter. Remember, we are all humans here!

Contact Danaher and let them know it's time to put people over profits:

  • Post on social media using #PeopleOverProfits and #XDRNext! Tag @DanaherCorp and @CepheidNews on Twitter and comment on Facebook and LinkedIn posts.
  • Call Danaher's corporate office at +1-202-828-0850.
  • Email Danaher at investor.relations@danaher.com.
  • Write a Letter to the board of directors of Danaher, and mail it (or request another TBFighter mail it) to:
    c/o Corporate Secretary
    Danaher Corporation
    2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
    Suite 800W
    Washington, D.C. 20037-1701

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