'This Week' Transcript: Former President Bill Clinton

CLINTON: I think they should go to people who would benefit if grass roots people in Providence were more prosperous. Local banks should support this. Local businesses that need those folks to be able to come in and buy their products would be more successful. And the more we understand that you have to keep widening the circle of opportunity, the more this becomes a business strategy as well as just compassion.

If you look at Pfizer, it's a good example. People who have Tuberculosis and AIDS are very ill. The traditional Tuberculosis treatment combined with the AIDS drugs makes them so sick they can't function. Pfizer is the only company in the world with a drug that allows them to function normally. So I said to them, "Why are you becoming our first big pharmaceutical partner? Why are you giving me this 60 percent reduction?"

And the president said, "Because I realize that by fighting the generic trend to lower drug cost, we were trying to get a huge percentage of only 15 percent of the population of the world. I decided we should go to the other 85 percent."

When all these generic drug companies changed their strategy, they were still charging a lot of money because their payment was uncertain, and they were -- had a few customers, so they had to have a big profit margin. I just asked them to change their business model. Now they have a low profit margin, but they have many, many more customers in certain payments. When Wal-Mart convinced its supply chain to cut the packaging by 5 percent, they changed the business model. It had the global warming effect of taking 211,000 trucks off the road but it also cut the supply chain cost $3 billion a year. So you've got to -- you have to find ways to argue that in the end, being philanthropic, being large-minded, being compassionate is also, in an interdependent world, good economics.

TAPPER: One of the challenges for philanthropies is that when you're dealing in impoverished areas, there's often a lot of corruption. I know it's a situation and I know the Global Health Initiative has a no corruption rule. You've talked in the past about one country you had to pull out for the Global Health Initiative because they were not going to uphold the no corruption rule.

CLINTON: That's correct.

TAPPER: Of course, that I'm sure to a degree upset you because you wanted to be in that country --

CLINTON: I desperately wanted to do it.

TAPPER: What advice will you give them to help negotiate that terrain? To do good, but at the same time, avoid some of these bad actors that are almost inevitably in impoverished areas.

CLINTON: Rampant corruption normally accompanies incapacity. That is, in poor countries where a few people have a lot of money and money changes hands, it's because nobody expects there to be a good universal health care system. Nobody expects there to be a good universal banking system. Nobody expects there to be a good universal education system.

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