Pharmaceuticals: Philanthropy and business join forces

Author: Andrew Jack, Financial Times , Published on: 23 April 2012

Many chief executives might have chosen to relax for the holiday weekend at the start of April this year, but Chris Viehbacher instead took a gruelling four-day trip into remote Chad to review his company’s work tackling sleeping sickness. The head of Sanofi...wanted to see for himself the burden of the terrible disease inflicted by the bite of the tsetse fly, and the impact his company was having in its efforts to improve both prevention and treatment...Sanofi, like GlaxoSmithKline...which is particularly active in developing a malaria vaccine, have a long history of work on tropical diseases. That partly reflects the colonial history of their two countries. Both argue that they need to help even those patients who cannot afford to pay, while also keeping an eye on fast growing emerging markets...Global health programmes, in short, reflect a mixture of philanthropy and self interest, with recognition of the potential for sales and the need to maintain a good image a decade after South Africa’s legal action against the drug companies over the price of HIV medicines did so much damage to the industry’s reputation...[also refers to Merck, Pfizer, Novartis, Roche]

Read the full post here

Related companies: GlaxoSmithKline Merck Novartis Pfizer Roche Sanofi