Poverty, unemployment and inequality are perhaps the biggest challenges facing society today. These issues all urgently need solutions, and businesses bear a responsibility in helping to create them. One of the key ways in which businesses can do this is through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.

Investing in CSR programmes can bring business as well as societal benefits; while helping solve complex challenges in society, CSR commitments can also enhance brand reputation, increase employee engagement and motivation levels, and create a sense of cultural pride among a workforce.

The pharmaceutical industry, with its access to resources, networks and expertise, is in a strong position – and has a responsibility – to drive positive social change. Indeed many companies in the pharmaceutical sector are already doing amazing work in helping to tackle complicated and difficult issues. There are three key ways in which pharma businesses can lead in driving social change.

Increasing access to healthcare

Pharma has an obvious advantage compared to other industries when it comes to driving social change because at its core, our business outputs are all designed to improve and save lives. The research we undertake and the medicines we create are paramount to the well-being of society, and pharma plays a critical role in healthcare and developing medicines, which prevent, alleviate and cure diseases.

However, access to medicine remains a crucial issue for many people across the globe, facing barriers to accessing the healthcare they urgently need. Often this can mean those in rural areas, who face extreme poverty, are left without access to adequate healthcare facilities. For this reason, Astellas is committed to expanding access to healthcare through the development and provision of innovative medicines. For example, we have a focus on, and commitment to, combatting neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Our research teams are collaborating with peers from organisations around the world to help in the development of effective treatments for diseases such as Chagas, cholera, dengue fever and schistosomiasis.

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