With the news of GSK and Save the Children teaming up to save the lives of one million children, I thought I'd take a look at some of the initiatives pharmaceutical companies have employed in the name of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
In May 2013, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Save the Children embarked on a partnership which they say is designed to save one million children's lives. The collaboration will focus on widening vaccination coverage, researching new low-cost products to combat malnutrition, and increasing investment in health workers. One example will be reformulating the chlorhexidine found in GSK's Corsodyl mouthwash into a gel for cleaning the umbilical cord stumps of newborn babies.
USAID launched its Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Control Program in September 2006. In an effort to tackle five NTDs – lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, trachoma, onchocerciasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis – Merck, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson have collectively donated significant amounts of ivermectin, azithromycin, albendazole and mebendazole to the program.
On their website, Pfizer call it their âsignature philanthropic program'. Mobilize Against Malaria (MAM) was a five-year (2007-2011) initiative designed to address gaps in malaria treatment and education in Ghana, Kenya and Senegal. The initiative aimed to improve recognition, treatment and referral of malaria, and supported community mobilization campaigns to strengthen the demand for effective malaria treatment. Here's a Guardian article about the work of MAM in Ghana >
In 2002, Bayer HealthCare agreed to supply as much Germanin (suramin) as the World Health Organization deemed necessary to eliminate African sleeping sickness (Human African trypanosomiasis). The initial donation comprised 50,000 ampoules. The agreement was then renewed in 2008, where Bayer agreed to donate a further 50,000 ampoules of Germanin over a five-year period. In 2009, Bayer committed to supporting the WHO with annual donations of 400,000 tablets of Lampit (nifurtimox).
In October 2010, Sanofi created the Sanofi Espoir Corporate Foundation, which focuses three major objectives: controlling childhood cancer, fighting against maternal and child mortality, and ensuring access to healthcare for the world's poorest populations. The Foundation's actions are in line with the Millenium Development Goals. In 2012, the Foundation donated 212,000 boxes of medicines, and 645,000 doses of vaccines.
What do you think? What other acts of CSR are worthy of a mention? How important is CSR for pharmaceutical companies? Why not join our discussion on LinkedIn, or leave a comment below. Want more from Total BioPharma? Sign up to our newsletter – it doesn't cost anything and only takes a minute.