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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society
Title Business Engagement in Public Programs: The Pharmaceutical Industry's Contribution to Public Health and the Millennium Development Goals
Volume 8
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2008
Page numbers 482-489
URL http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/14720700810899211
Purpose: There is growing awareness that global public health problems are so complex, and require such major resources, that neither states nor other stakeholders can tackle them and achieve the millennium development goals (MDGs) on their own. This paper aims to examine the relevance of the MDGs to the pharmaceutical sector and summarizes the industry's contributions to helping achieve the MDGs in the context of its business goals.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper reviews the MDGs for which industry has made significant contributions, particularly goal 4: reduce child mortality; goal 5: improve maternal health; goal 6: combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; and goal 8: develop a global partnership for development. The paper focuses on two public-private partnerships (PPPs) in particular – the Merck MECTIZAN® Donation Program, for the elimination of river blindness as a public health problem, and the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Botswana – and outlines some lessons learned. The paper also offers some considerations for PPPs to contribute further to public health and the MDGS in the future.

Findings: The pharmaceutical industry has made some major contributions to addressing public health challenges. Along the way, companies such as Merck & Co., Inc. (Whitehouse Station, New Jersey; Merck operates in most countries outside the USA as Merck Sharp & Dohme) have learned useful lessons that can be shared to inform the approach and practices of other PPPs in global health.

Originality/value: Relatively few overviews document the industry's contributions to public health, especially in relation to the MDGs. This paper provides a first step to fill that gap at a time when interest in PPPs is increasing.

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