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A roundup of developments in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability from the bio/pharmaceutical industry, its suppliers, and other public and private organizations.
The Dow Chemical Company has extended its commitment to Habitat for Humanity International, which marks the company’s 30th anniversary of financial, volunteer and product contributions to the organization to support the goal of creating safe, affordable housing in partnership with low-income families around the world. In 1983, Dow became one of Habitat’s first corporate partners, and over its three-plus decades has assisted in the construction of nearly 39,000 homes in 24 countries on six continents, including in Ghana, Africa, for the first time in 2013. Read More
Novartis has launched an effort to eliminate rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in Zambia in collaboration with the Lusaka University Teaching Hospital (UTH), the Ministry of Health in Zambia, the Pan-African Cardiology Society, and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). To measure RHD prevalence and identify those in need of secondary prophylaxis, teams of health care professionals from Lusaka UTH, the MGH, and Novartis will use portable echocardiography machines to evaluate 3000 children, ages 9–10, in Lusaka-area public schools. Echocardiography screening is estimated to detect more than 10 times as many cases as clinical screening. Images from the echocardiography screens will be analyzed in Zambia and at the MGH using a cloud-based electronic registry developed by Dimagi, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company that designs open-source electronic healthcare systems for low resource environments. Children identified as having RHD will be treated with monthly penicillin injections (termed “secondary prophylaxis”) to prevent recurrent streptococcal infections and additional valve damage. Primary prevention, the treatment of children with streptococcal infection to prevent RHD, is key to elimination of the disease. To this end, all children diagnosed with strep throat will be treated with injectable penicillin in the community-based study sites. Prevalence of RHD and adherence to secondary prophylaxis will be determined via the mobile electronic registry. Read More
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and the Sanofi Espoir Foundation have renewed their My Child Matters partnership dedicated to fighting childhood cancer in low-resources countries for three years. The new partnership is built around three key priorities: enhanced support and evaluation of ongoing projects in 15 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America; backing to international care networks; and awareness-raising actions to make childhood cancer a priority on the global public health agenda. Read More
ViiV Healthcare, a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer focused on treating HIV, has formed a collaboration with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a United Nations-backed public health mechanism created in July 2010 with the goal of increasing access to HIV medicines. Through this collaboration, ViiV Healthcare will grant MPP a voluntary license for pediatric formulations of the antiretroviral medicine abacavir in the 118 countries where most (98.7%) children living with HIV live. Abacavir is currently recommended as a preferred nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) for first-line therapy in infants and children in the World Health Organization guidelines. Read More