Solving Problems Kim Lachance Shandrow  | June 21, 2018

Social Impact Rx: How GlaxoSmithKline Invests In Global Health

GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (GSK), a global healthcare leader that co-developed the world’s first malaria vaccine candidate as well as the groundbreaking HIV treatment AZT, is today continuing to pursue its mission to “help people do more, feel better, and live longer.”

From donating a critically needed chronic diseases research lab in sub-Saharan Africa, to teaching underserved children in Philadelphia about the health benefits of regular physical activity, and dozens of philanthropic outreach efforts in between, the corporation is making good on its commitment to promoting public health across the U.S. and around the world.

GSK — the sixth largest pharmaceutical corporation in the world, with more than a dozen locations throughout the U.S. — operates on a shared-value social impact business model. GSK’s primary social impact focus is to increase access to medicines while investing in research to combat diseases across the globe, particularly in low-income and developing areas.

Recognizing GSK for forging such a far-reaching positive impact on the communities and societies in which it operates, in several corners of Africa and well beyond, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently named GSK the 2016 Best Corporate Steward (in the large business category) as part of its annual Corporate Citizenship Awards.

“Businesses act as a powerful force for good in their communities every single day, and these winners reflect some of the best social and community initiatives within the business sector,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president for the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center. “It is an honor to showcase the contribution of these companies, who are setting the bar for excellence in corporate citizenship.”

As part of its inspiring Investing in Africa and Developing Countries initiative, GSK doubled the amount of the medicine it donates to sub-Saharan African countries.

“Our initiatives show that when business does what it does best — in GSK’s case, developing innovative medicines and delivering them where needed, and at the same time working creatively with others — we have the potential to make a real difference,” Allan Pamba, the company’s vice president of East Africa and government affairs, said when asked how growing up Kenya motivates his desire to improve the health of the people living there.

Additionally, through a partnership with Save the Children, GSK has supported the training of more than 40,000 global healthcare workers who have assisted approximately 11 million underserved individuals in all. The trainees learned how to screen for conditions like malnutrition and how to administer vaccinations.

What’s more, GSK reinvests 20 percent of its profits into creating medical infrastructure and instructing healthcare industry employees and volunteers in the world’s most underdeveloped nations.

“Healthy communities are the backbone of strong sustainable societies,” said Donna Altenpohl, a vice president of public policy at GSK. “That is why GSK has a long history of giving to the cities where we work and where we live.”