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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is a world leading research-based pharmaceutical company whose mission is to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.
Headquartered in the UK, the company has leadership in four major therapeutic areas- anti-infectives, central nervous system, respiratory and gastro-intestinal/metabolic. In addition, it is a leader in the important area of vaccines and has a growing portfolio of oncology products.
Research and Development
Focus on the Patient is a major theme of GSK’s R&D programme. R&D’s starting point is always the real and unmet needs of patients. The information gleaned from consultation with patients, their doctors, key opinion leaders and experts in the health sector is used to shape GSK’s drug development programme.
GSK R&D is based at 24 cites in 11 countries. The company has a leading position in genomics/genetics and new drug discovery technologies. The GSK R&D budget is about £2.8bn/$5bn.
GSK has one of the most promising pipelines in the industry, with 140 projects in clinical development, including 88 New Chemical Entities, 32 Product Line Extensions and 20 Vaccines. The pipeline is focused on developing new medicines and vaccines to treat diseases of unmet medical nee, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
In 2004, the value of GSK’s global investment in community programmes was £328 million – this includes product donations and charitable contributions. GSK has been recognised as the largest giver to charitable causes of any FTSE 100 company for the previous 3 years.
Community Partnership activities encompass support for healthcare, education, scientific and medical research, and arts projects around the world- not only with cash donations but also with product donations and employee involvement.
GSK co-operates with UNAIDS and UNICEF in multi-company programmes that facilitate access to treatment for HIV/AIDS and for preventing maternal transmission of HIV to newborn babies. The company was the first to offer preferential prices on its anti-retrovirals drugs in developing countries, to enable more patients to benefit from effective treatment. In 2004 GSK shipped 33 million tablets of preferentially-priced Combivir to Africa.
Elimination of Lymphatic Filariaisis
Since 1998, GSK has been working with the WHO on one of the most ambitious health programmes ever undertaken – to eliminate the disease lymphatic filariasis. This is a disabling and disfiguring parasitic disease that affects 120 million people in 73 countries. The company is donating sufficient quantities of its drug Albendazole for use in all lymphatic filariasis endemic countries for as long as it takes to eliminate the disease.
Through the African Malaria Partnership, GSK aims to support communities through the scale-up of effective behavioural development activities whose primary focus is malaria control. The GSK African Malaria partnership will award grants totalling US$ 1.5 billion over three years to selected behavioural development programmes.
GSK’s Patient Advocacy initiative is designed to bring GSK closer to patients and advocacy groups, with the goal of improving GSK’s understanding of patients needs and enhancing its reputation as a patient-centred company.
This initiative originated in the US in 2002 but has since been incorporated into GSK’s strategic plans throughout the world. In 2004 the annual Patient Advocacy Leadership Summit was attended by more than 400 people (including patient group representatives) from 23 countries.
In 2004, PALS was extended from the US to include patient groups worldwide. Over 400 people attended from 23 countries. Attendees represented 233 different advocacy organisations. In 2005 GSK hosted its first summit for European patient groups, EPALS entitled “Innovative Partnerships: Innovative Solutions.”
The company has developed a code of conduct to guide its work with patient groups and a Patient Advocacy Manual of best practice for employees.