GlaxoSmithKline, the largest drug manufacturer in the UK and one of the most important pharmaceutical companies in the world, has recently announced an innovative and long-term partnership with the NGO Save the Children. The two organizations will work together to fight child mortality in Africa, with the hope that their joint efforts will save the lives of a million children.
The initiative will begin with pilot programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya before eventually expanding to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America.
It is hoped that the GlaxoSmithKline partnership with Save the Children will create a new model for how companies collaborate with charitable organizations. The company’s CEO, Sir Andrew Witty, states that for the first time, the company will involve an NGO in setting its agenda for pediatric development programs in the developing world.
The company will give approximately GBP 15 million to the organization over the next few years and the two organizations will work to identify the most significant causes of child deaths. Then, GlaxoSmithKline will develop simple initiatives that can be delivered on the ground by Save the Children.
For example, one such project involves transforming one of GlaxoSmithKline’s current formulas for mouthwash into a gel that can be applied to the umbilical cords of newborns to prevent infections. This and other products developed by GlaxoSmithKline will be sold at cost and the company has no plans of earning a profit on these initiatives.
In addition to the GlaxoSmithKline partnership with Save the Children, the company has been working on a malaria vaccine since 1984 and has committed to commercializing what it develops with a 5% profit margin. These profits would then be reinvested in malaria research and would not remain within the company.
– Caroline Poterio Martinez
Photo: Malawi Voice