By Adele Paterson

 

For the past five years, International Health Partners has supported the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative in the Global Generics and Biosimilar (GGB) Awards. What do these awards recognise, and why are they important? Adele Paterson, International Health Partners' CEO explains.

As pharmaceutical firms come under increasing societal pressure to act responsibly in a fast-changing, globalised world, many are expanding and reforming their strategies for corporate social responsibility (CSR). 

Of course, good deeds can also lead to good business. CSR not only helps to attract and retain talent (employees care about the perceptions of the companies they work in); it also helps companies to develop goodwill and access in developing markets, creating valuable business opportunities.

As with regulation, creating and improving access to medicine is not just about good intentions – it must be underpinned by good practices. As the global health community works toward meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we need to be clear about what we want to achieve, and resources needed. It’s fantastic to see generics manufacturers increasingly looking to play a part in this effort. 

As convener of the CSR category of the Global Generics and Biosimilar Awards, we’ve been delighted to receive 11 entries this year, ranging from developed international programmes through to seedling initiatives reaching underserved people in a creative, focused way. Last year’s winner was Dr Reddy’s, with a community health intervention programme that reached nearly 50,000 children in rural India.

What does the 2019 award recognise? We welcome entries that are thoughtful, collaborative and demonstrate clear impact. In particular, we’ve sought evidence that companies think hard about social impact, and – in terms of global health challenges – plan to make a difference in the long term.

 To identify good practice, we’ve asked questions that include:

  • Does the programme identify a need and a solution?
  • Does it have key performance indicators to measure success?
  • Does the programme look to make a lasting impact (for example, training a community to overcome this problem in the future)?
  • Do the results match the original objectives?

As the pharmaceutical sector comes under scrutiny in areas such as access and pricing, these awards create an opportunity to tell compelling stories of impact in response to disasters, chronic situations, and specific areas of therapy. With companies committing more resource to CSR, this award recognises and promotes the drive to reach people beyond an immediate customer base and develop initiatives that have positive outcomes for health.

All the entrants to this year’s award are creating demonstrable benefits, whether by raising the profile and understanding of different therapy areas, enabling access to education, deepening understanding of health or helping to extend product donations. What’s more, the standard of entries to the CSR award continues to improve year on year. To me this indicates the generics sector is becoming increasingly aware of the impact it can have for good.

The results of the Global Generics and Biosimiliar awards are announced on November 5.