“Suing Nelson Mandela to defend HIV drug patents in South Africa was about the dumbest thing the industry ever did.”
Thomas Cueni appointed earlier this year as director-general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, said to the FT. I might put it in the top 10, but perhaps there are other items to challenge it.
The whole area of drug pricing and patents in Africa was one of the earliest catalysts for my involvement in the sustainability / ESG / responsible investing / whatever you want to call it.
Cueni noted his top 3 priorities:
“(1) The biggest health threat right now is antimicrobial resistance. If we don’t get our act together, instead of 700,000 people dying each year we may have 10m by 2050. (2) universal health coverage. You will not be able to make much progress unless you address the funding issues. You need functioning health systems. But as long as two-thirds of the world pays out of pocket, you will struggle to reach universal health coverage. We as an industry can contribute. (3) ethics and integrity."
I think most of us are not super aware of (1) the antimicrobial resistance, apart from the odd super-bug headline. (2) is simply not happening in the US. And (3)… well it’s better than before but these surveys do not paint a good picture of trust.
This Harris Poll survey suggests only 9% of patients believe pharma puts patients ahead of profits. Perhaps even more alarming are the PatientView surveys which look at patient groups (see below)
Although this is reflective of poor trust everywhere globally it seems.
If you'd like to feel inspired by commencement addresses and life lessons try: Neil Gaiman on making wonderful, fabulous, brilliant mistakes; or Nassim Taleb's commencement address; or JK Rowling on the benefits of failure. Or Charlie Munger on always inverting; Sheryl Sandberg on grief, resilience and gratitude or investor Ray Dalio on on Principles.
Cross fertilise. Read about the autistic mind here.