SWITZERLAND – Novartis hosted its eighth annual ESG investor meeting, where it shared progress toward its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) targets and provided updates on its most important ESG topics, such as access to medicines, patient health and safety, innovation, and ethical standards.
Access to medicines remains one of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges, and as confirmed by the recent Novartis materiality assessment, it is one of the company’s most important ESG topics. According to the WHO, more than 2 billion people worldwide do not have access to basic medicine.
To increase access to its medicines, Novartis employs a variety of strategies, including an emerging market brand strategy, social business models, zero-profit initiatives, and strategic donations.
The Access to Medicines Index has repeatedly recognized Novartis’ efforts, ranking Novartis second in the 2021 index and highlighting Novartis as the only company with equitable access strategies across its portfolio in low-income countries.
Novartis has made tremendous progress toward its 2025 Patient Access Targets and it projects that by 2025, it will have reached 200 percent more patients in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with strategic innovative therapies, as well as 50 percent more patients through the Novartis Flagship Programs, which encompass malaria, sickle cell disease, Chagas disease, and leprosy.
Its notable achievement is seen in the malaria program, where it has delivered more than 1 billion antimalarial treatment courses since 1999; and currently has a positive phase 2b results for next generation antimalarial therapy ganaplacide in combination with lumefantrine.
Under its flagship programs and strategic innovative brands, Novartis has managed to reach approximately 29 million patients to date.
Novartis, as a leading pharmaceutical company, is acutely aware of the impact of climate change on human health and changing disease patterns and it aspires to be a leader in environmental sustainability and a positive change agent.
Novartis has committed to achieving net zero carbon across its value chain by 2040, further strengthening its already ambitious targets for full carbon neutrality by 2030.
Also, Novartis and the Novartis US Foundation had announced a 10-year collaboration with a host of Historically Black Colleges, Universities, and Medical Schools (HBCUs) to design programs that address the root causes of systemic disparities in health outcomes and diversity, equity and inclusion across the research and development ecosystem.
The collaboration provides a funding of US$ 20 million to help prepare up to 1200 African-American students to become the next generation of leaders in health, science, technology, and business.
Commenting on this subject Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis said: “ESG is central to the Novartis strategy and is critical to delivering on our purpose to reimagine medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. Coupled with our inspired, curious and unbossed culture, we believe ESG efforts on our most material topics will help drive our overall performance as a company and deliver long-term value for our stakeholders.”