Recognition of the efforts of pharmaceutical companies to ensure that more people in the global community have access to better healthcare was the aim behind an award sponsored by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and presented by ABPI Director General, Dr Richard Barker on November 16.
The 'Corporate Social Responsibility' category at this year's Scrip Awards was won by Novartis. The judges felt that the company had shown a long-term, high-level commitment to its corporate social responsibilities, from drug donation projects to the development of medicines for neglected diseases.
In 2005, Novartis contributed more than £360 million and reached 6.5 million patients in need through access-to-medicine projects around the world.
The company provides medicines at cost, or free, to patients in the developing world afflicted by diseases such as leprosy, malaria and tuberculosis. Like several other companies, it also offers discounts and support programmes to patients in industrialised countries who lack medical insurance or other financial resources.
The company is developing patient-centred daily-observed-treatment systems (DOTS) for tuberculosis, where consistent compliance to lengthy treatment is critical.
"Novartis have provided an outstanding example of how the pharmaceutical industry can drive real change in global health. The ABPI feels strongly that it is a core part of our mission to save and improve lives to ensure that the poorest are not left behind," said Dr Barker. "Overall, the industry has provided more than £2.5bn in assistance to the developing world since 2000 - this is a record of which we can be proud."
Others short-listed for the award were: Merck & Co's African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships, Pfizer's Infectious Diseases Institute and Novo Nordisk's Pakistan Earthquake Medical Camps.
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410