Acting responsibly is a societal obligation, says Ferring VP Henk Jan Out – especially when your product can save lives. At Responsible Pharma he tells how vital CSR is when working with reproductive health.
A basic step towards a sustainable lifestyle is to live. To actually be alive, that is. So for Ferring Pharmaceuticals, engaging in CSR and sustainability begins even before the baby steps; sometimes even before the child is born.
“We are very humbled by the knowledge, that our products and our innovations are key to secure the life of so many, who would have likely died at birth. Or have been killed by giving birth,” says Henk Jan Out, VP, Reproductive Health R&D at Ferring Pharmaceuticals – speaking at Responsible Pharma, November 30th.
In a global scale, Ferring is a relatively small company. Yet their products have saved the lives of many, by helping mothers and children survive the critical stage of life we call birth. An obligation and a challenge, Henk Jan Out calls it; “Though we have or have had a huge, positive impact on many peoples lives, we feel a need to do better. A good example is our collaboration with WHO and MSD to protect mothers from dying – sadly not an easy task”.
Postpartum haemorrhage — heavy bleeding after childbirth — has long been the leading cause of maternal mortality in low-income countries. And as a wonderful example of meaningful partnerships; WHO, MSD, and Ferring are collaborating to develop a new variant of carbetocin to be used at room-temperature – eliminating the need for a refrigerator to store drugs.
The partnership is unique for WHO also and it shows both the power of partnerships and the complexity of modern healthcare; developing drugs is often a multi-stakeholder challenge.
Every long journey begins with a small step
Thus Ferring has also taken an initiative to fund research into premature birth in collaboration with the American NGO March for Dimes; A project that hopefully will help ensure better solutions to prevent the deaths of more than 1 mio. babies every year.
“It’s extremely important for us – indeed for the world – that we keep finding better and affordable solutions for future healthcare, as this is key to equal access on a global scale also,” Henk Jan Out says, underlining that donations are helpful but true progress really lies in sustainable solutions. “The pharmaceutical industry has changed considerably the last twenty years in its efforts to increase access to its medicines. Constructive initiatives rather than conflicts have been developed allowing patient to use these sometimes live-saving drugs”