An inappropriate confusion
between Nutriset and the pharmaceutical industry

Recurrent debates relative to access to healthcare for populations in the world’s poorest countries often focus on the policies implemented by pharmaceutical companies. The drugs incriminated are often expensive and unavailable. Following campaigns designed to make these industrial policies more flexible, the retail prices of some drugs have been reduced by up to 90%. In our particular case – the field of nutrition – the figures in question do not come close to such levels.

First of all, in terms of costs and prices: for the majority of Nutriset products, the cost of raw materials often accounts for over 60% of the overall cost. Nutriset has always been committed to keeping its prices down wherever possible; the figures speak for themselves. However, as a food industry company, Nutriset’s cost structures differ from those found in the pharmaceutical industry and it would, quite simply, be unrealistic to expect price reductions similar to those seen in pharmacies. If we take the example of Plumpy’nut®, in the last 5 years, we have applied a price reduction of around 10%. 

When it comes to access to and availability of products, that is exactly what Nutriset sets out to ensure, firstly by developing production networks based in the countries affected by malnutrition, and secondly by getting involved in initiatives designed to improve access to this type of product for the populations in greatest need (ACCESS approach).

There is no doubt that these debates, driven by organisations involved in the care of these people – whose survival unfortunately often depends on industrially-manufactured products – are often clouded by this inappropriate amalgam between Nutriset and the problems encountered with the pharmaceutical industry.

The issue of nutrition is quite different from the issue of medicines. It is for this reason that Nutriset proposes different models, for the benefit of populations.