Access to healthcare
Providing sustainable access to healthcare for all those who need it is a significant global challenge. The complexities surrounding the issue mean that there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. Factors affecting access range from the affordability of medicines to the availability of healthcare systems and the resources to make them effective. We believe it will take a combined global effort involving all related stakeholders to drive sustainable progress in increasing access to healthcare worldwide – and we know that, as a global biopharmaceutical company, we can make a meaningful contribution to that effort.
Our strategy takes account of the different barriers to healthcare in different parts of the world and, because access to healthcare can also vary within a country, our approach is tailored locally to meet the needs of different patient populations. We are pursuing a range of different initiatives across these populations to understand what works best and in what context. Best practice will be shared and replicated.
Healthy Heart Africa (HHA)
On 28 October 2014 we launched the Healthy Heart Africa programme to tackle the burden of hypertension in Africa. Designed in consultation and collaboration with non-governmental and community based organisations, international organisations, health experts and governments to support local health systems, the programme aims to support local health systems by increasing awareness of the symptoms and risks of hypertension and by offering education, screening, treatment and control. We have initially launched Healthy Heart Africa in Kenya, with a view to expanding to other countries in the continent.
We are committed to increasing access to healthcare for underserved patient populations in a sustainable way.
We believe that we will be able to make the greatest contribution to increasing access to healthcare when our approach is commercially sustainable. This underpins our continued business success which in turn generates the revenue we need to reward shareholders, invest in continued innovation and, importantly, continue to explore and adopt ways of broadening the affordability of our medicines to reach more patients. It’s about shared value – for patients, for stakeholders, for our business and for society.
Driving mainstream business
Our mainstream business will continue to focus on those people for whom healthcare is readily available and can afford our medicines. Sales of these medicines in our established markets helps us to generate the revenue we need to provide our shareholders with a return, invest in continued innovation and pursue other opportunities to increase the availability of our medicines.
As we expand our business in new geographies, we are exploring broad market strategies to reach new patients, in particular the emerging middle income populations who are increasingly able to access healthcare systems and for whom our medicines are becoming affordable.
Strengthening healthcare capabilities
The availability of medicines is not always the primary challenge. Access to healthcare also depends on having a functional healthcare system and the right allocation of resources to make sure that medicines are used appropriately as part of overall health management. For people in communities with limited healthcare infrastructure we partner with others to help strengthen healthcare frameworks and capabilities.
On a broader basis we collaborate at a global level to increase understanding of fast-emerging and existing health threats in the developing world.
What's next in this section
Healthy Heart Africa
Find out about HHA, a new signature initiative that aims to improve the lives of patients with cardiovascular disease and hypertension in Africa.Read more
Driving mainstream business
Our mainstream business will continue to focus on those people for whom healthcare is readily available and can afford our medicines.Read more