Global Health Progress

Industry’s Hands-On Approach to Global Health

01.06.14 | By Mark Grayson

This is the first blog post in a series of responses to Luke Timmerman’s Xconomy article, “12 Things the Pharma Industry Can Do to Rebuild Real Public Trust,” in which he says the pharmaceutical industry isn’t doing enough to deliver “big health advances.”


In Luke Timmerman’s recent Xconomy article, “12 Things the Pharma Industry Can Do to Rebuild Real Public Trust,” he says the pharmaceutical industry isn’t doing enough to deliver “big health advances” and suggests ways in which the industry can improve its image among the public. Today, we will begin a series of blog posts to address several of Timmerman’s assertions and highlight how the industry is truly working as hard as ever to deliver real results for patients.  

One of Timmerman’s suggestions is for the industry to not just “pay lip service to global health. Do something real.” Through public-private collaboration, advancements in medical technology and the dedication of many people from the lab to on-the-ground volunteers, the biopharmaceutical industry’s impact on global health is not only real, it’s significant too.

But don’t just take our word for it. The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) recently reported that biopharmaceutical companies are taking a hands-on approach to improving access to treatments and vaccines in developing countries. This approach takes many forms, including donations of medicines and collaboration with generic manufacturers to ensure access to affordable medication options.

The area of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is one recent example of this work in action. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that NTDs affect more than 1 billion people around the world in more than 149 developing countries. Many of our member companies, from GlaxoSmithKline to Merck, are engaged in the fight against NTDs through the donation of medicines and are working together to help control and even eliminate these deadly diseases. In fact, the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases found that biopharmaceutical companies are meeting 100 percent of received requests for medicines and delivered more than one billion treatments in 2012 alone.

We invite you to learn more about the impact our industry is having on global health and specifically neglected tropical diseases in our “Conversations” forum.

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