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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.
Abbott has selected 40 undergraduate and graduate students living with cystic fibrosis (CF) to each receive a $2500 CFCareForward Scholarship for use during the 2012–2013 academic year. Recipients were chosen based on their academic merits, community involvement, and creativity and will now compete for two additional scholarships for a total award of $20,000 each. Until Sept. 11, 2012, the public is invited to vote at help determine this year’s Thriving Undergraduate and Graduate Student winners.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has announced $1.6 million in grants to four healthcare institutions in India that will help improve diabetes education, prevention, and care as well as increase healthcare worker capacity in rural and tribal areas and among the urban poor. The International Diabetes Foundation (IDF) reports that 61.26 million people in India are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, ranking India second only to China in total cases and third behind the United States (10.9%) and China (9.3%) in terms of prevalence. By 2030, India will have 101.2 million people with Type 2 diabetes, IDF projects. Through its Together on Diabetes initiative, Bristol-Myers Squibb has awarded grants to the Mamta Health Institute for Mother and Child in New Delhi, All India Institute of Diabetes and Research in Naranpura, Swasthya Diabetes Hospital in Ahmedabad, and Sanjivani Health and Relief Committee in Ahmedabad. Since its launch in November 2010, the Together on Diabetes program has awarded $32.57 million in grants to 17 organizations in 23 states and the District of Columbia in the United States, $1.23 million to two organizations in China, and $1.6 million to four organizations in India. The total commitment is $115 million through 2014.
MeadWestvaco, a provider of packaging and packaging solutions, has introduced Shellpak Renew, a new package that features a tear-resistant, recyclable outer carton, an easy-slide blister, and an integrated calendar for patients to track their medications. The new sustainable Shellpak Renew packaging has a smaller footprint requiring less shelf space. The outer carton is made of the company’s Natralock, an environmentally friendly paperboard-based packaging solution that maximizes the use of recyclable materials and minimizes waste. The package also contains enhanced adherence features, including color-coded spine labels to help distinguish among drugs, and easy-open, child-resistant push buttons.
The Republic of Uganda, through its Ministry of Health and supported by Merck & Co., has announced the launch of a national vaccination program with Merck’s cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil (human papillomavirus quadrivalent [Types 6, 11, 16 and 18] vaccine, recombinant] for girls 9 to 13 years of age in 12 districts throughout the country. Through an agreement with Merck, the vaccination program will be implemented with 460,000 doses of Gardasil donated to 12 districts in Uganda during a two-year period, enough to vaccinate approximately 140,000 eligible girls in 12 districts. The program represents the first phase of Uganda's national rollout plan for human papillomavirus vaccination. (HPV).
The initiative in Uganda follows the launch in April 2011 of a cervical cancer prevention program in Rwanda incorporating both HPV vaccination and HPV testing. In its initial year, an estimated 93% of eligible girls 12 to 15 years of age in Rwanda were vaccinated with three doses of Gardasil. Also, in 2010 Merck partnered with the Royal Government of Bhutan and the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation to launch a six-year national vaccination program with Gardasil for girls and young women between the ages of 12 and 18 in Bhutan. Merck provided Gardasil at no cost in the first year and for the remaining five years is providing it at an access price at which Merck will not profit. In 2009, Merck also announced a partnership with Qiagen focused on increasing access to HPV vaccination and HPV DNA testing in resource-poor areas of the world.
Novartis held its annual International Biotechnology Leadership Camp (BioCamp), a three-day seminar that brought biotechnology and business experts together with 60 university students from 21 countries and territories. This year’s Novartis BioCamp emphasized increased access to healthcare and the importance of R&D in emerging markets and how the company is expanding its global reach in clinical development.
Pfizer reported that it achieved its five-year public goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% after only four years. As a result of this effort, the company achieved $85 million in annualized project savings. To help reach this goal, more than 1500 energy-conservation and utility projects designed to improve efficiency and promote environmental sustainability were implemented along with other initiatives that reduced product packaging and increased use of renewable energy sources.
Roche and the Lucerne Festival, a musical festival, are renewing their partnership in the Roche Commissions cultural program. Since the program was launched in 2003, Roche has commissioned an orchestral work from a renowned composer. Since 2006, the program has taken place in a two-year cycle. In the future, the Lucerne Festival will be the exclusive partner of the Roche Commissions. From 2003 to 2012, Roche Commissions had been run by Roche and three cultural institutions: the Lucerne Festival, Carnegie Hall, and the Cleveland Orchestra. As in the past, a new work will be premiered every two years at the Lucerne Festival. Under the renewed partnership, Roche will be the resident sponsor of the Lucerne Festival in the summer and a resident partner of the Lucerne Festival Academy from 2013 onwards. Roche and the Lucerne Festival also are launching the Roche Young Commissions. Every two years, alternating with the existing Roche Commissions program, two young composers will be commissioned to write orchestral works that will premiere at the Lucerne Festival, for the first time in 2015. The Roche Young Commissions awardees will have two years to complete their compositions.