Novartis understands sustainability and is refreshingly open about the challenges. But it needs to cut to the chase and show more clearly how it is making a difference
Novartis is one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, with 123,000 employees, products in more than 180 countries and a reach of 1 billion patients globally. As a leader in pharma, Novartis is known for strong performance in the Access to Medicine Index (ranked fourth in 2014), based on a forward-looking access to healthcare strategy and a strong pipeline of innovative medicines in key therapeutic areas. Novartis often appears in leading sustainable rankings, such as the annual Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world and RobecoSam’s sustainability yearbook.
Novartis has many positive stories to tell. The Novartis mission, of providing access to healthcare, is clear. From the creation of “Novartis Access”, a portfolio of 15 medicines to treat chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes for public-sector healthcare providers at a cost of $1 per treatment per month, to the Novartis Malaria Initiative which has distributed 300m antimalarial doses to children since 2009, Novartis has a host of stories showing that the company is clearly making healthcare more accessible to many.
Clarifying the precise impact of these initiatives is not easy, Novartis admits in the 2015 report. “Our medicines and medical devices help to reduce...