The Community is at the heart of everything we do
For GSK Australia, community represents the lifeblood of our business. The community supports our people, providing services that we use in our daily lives. Without the support of the community, we don’t have a business.
The roles and responsibilities of a company like GSK in helping to address the challenges of improving global public health are rapidly evolving. Every year, millions of people in developing countries die from curable infectious diseases because they do not have access to basic healthcare services, including essential medicines. Millions more are unnecessarily exposed to the threat of ill health through inadequate or ineffective disease prevention strategies.
The community expects us to do more in addressing these issues. We agree. We have the capacity to do more and we can do more. Over the last decade, the pharmaceutical industry has helped to address healthcare challenges in the developing world by researching new medicines and making them more available and affordable. Despite this progress, the scale of the challenge means that the industry must now take a more proactive approach.
We have identified four key areas through which we will strengthen our approach:
- being more flexible on intellectual property
- being more flexible on pricing
- recognising that we achieve more in partnerships than we do alone
- looking at how we can move from being a supplier of medicines to being a partner in delivering solutions.
Increasing access to medicines is important to our business for ethical, reputational and commercial reasons:
- it is morally the right thing to do and is valued by our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders
- our business objective is to increase the proportion of the world’s population that has access to our medicines – currently around 20 per cent
- our business relies on the intellectual property (IP) rights system which encourages medical innovation and progress. By taking measures to counter claims that IP is a major barrier to access, and by looking for ways to improve availability and affordability, we can help to increase access while maintaining support for intellectual property rights in our key business areas.
Our community investment programs, such as Work Global > Help Local provide an additional resource for addressing healthcare challenges around the world. They support under-served communities through funding, education, practical support and product donations.
"I believe it is our privilege and responsibility as a successful company to give something back to our local community."
Deborah Waterhouse: General Manager, GSK Australia & New Zealand