Creating Shared Value in Global Health: Growing Markets, Making Progress

This blog post was written by Neeraja Bhavaraju, Director at  FSG. FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm for leaders in search of large-scale, lasting social change to help them unleash their full potential to re-imagine social change.’They are a 2018 Global Health Council Member.

Every pharmaceutical and medical device company is trying to explore new markets, grow their reach, and expand their impact – in other words, to create “shared value” by delivering business value for the company by improving access to quality healthcare products and services for people around the world.

While most business leaders know shared value opportunities in low-income or hard-to-reach markets exist, realizing their potential is a different story. To do so, companies must work in new ways, develop deep external partnerships, and grapple with some of the most complex, multi-faceted challenges we face as a global community. Fortunately, this complexity has not deterred a group of innovative companies who are actively working to create shared value in global health.

FSG first highlighted these innovative efforts in 2013 in a report titled Competing by Saving Lives: How Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Companies Create Shared Value in Global Health. At that time, companies were just starting to shift away from a reliance on product donation programs towards business-driven strategies to build and strengthen sustainable markets for their products.

Now, in a new interview series, we are checking-in with those we profiled to understand not just what they are doing, but how they are doing it. In these conversations, leading shared value practitioners share their successes, struggles, and hard-won lessons learned. Across the interviews, we explore how companies are starting new efforts and evolving long-standing initiatives, how they are establishing new partnerships and investing in internal innovation, and how they are expanding the definition of their core business to achieve greater access and impact.

Highlights from the interviews include:

  • Addressing the global unmet need for vision correction and eyeglasses through a sustainable, scalable business model with Essilor
  • Leveraging the unique power of generics manufacturers to address the biggest global health challenges with Mylan
  • Finding new ways to expand access to care and treatment in emerging markets with Eli Lilly
  • Tackling the cancer challenge in sub-Saharan Africa with Pfizer.
  • Innovating new business models and making the shift from products to services with Medtronic.

We will continue to add new interviews over the coming months with other leading companies effectively addressing global health challenges, including UPS, Merck, Abbott Labs, and Novartis among others. You can subscribe on the site to receive updates as we continue to engage in an exciting dialogue about how companies can best contribute to solving global health challenges.

You can learn more about FSG here.