LONDON - Swiss drugs company Novartis will not give free vaccines against H1N1 flu to poor countries, though it will consider discounts, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
If you want to make production sustainable, you have to create financial incentives, the FT quoted Novartis Chief Executive Daniel Vasella as saying in an early edition of Monday's paper.
The director-general of the World Health Organisation, Margaret Chan, has called for drugs companies to show solidarity with poor countries as they develop vaccines against the pandemic H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu.
As well as Novartis, U.S. company Baxter International and Europe's Sanofi-Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline and Solvay are working on vaccines.
H1N1 has infected around 30,000 people globally, mostly in North America, though there have been few deaths outside Mexico and the United States. Europe suffered its first death on Sunday after a patient with pre-existing health problems died in Scotland. (Reporting by David Milliken; Editing Bernard Orr)