BSR Releases Analysis of Global Health Partnerships

BSR Releases Analysis of Global Health Partnerships

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 7:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BL Media) Geneva, Switzerland — September 11, 2012 — BSR’s new report on global health partnerships—an evaluation of 220 programs in more than 160 countries—reveals the challenges and success factors in partnerships between the pharmaceutical industry and NGOs, governments, and academics. 

“Global health partnerships represent a dynamic and significant vehicle for addressing the world’s unmet health needs, but until now, there has not been a resource evaluating these partnerships,” said BSR Health Care Director Mark Little, the lead author of the report. “Our report allows companies, NGOs, and governments alike to identify and participate in strong partnerships, and gives program leaders an opportunity to learn from successful partnerships and improve their impact.”

For this research, BSR surveyed 20 pharmaceutical companies; interviewed dozens of experts from organizations including the World Health Organization, TB Alliance, GAVI Alliance, and the Global Fund; and developed a uniform framework for  partnerships to measure and report on impact. The framework assesses the impact of partnerships formed around four health challenge areas: availability of treatment, health system infrastructure, research and development, and awareness/prevention.

BSR used the UN Global Compact (UNGC) LEAD Initiative’s criteria for transformational public-private partnerships to analyze the effectiveness of these partnerships. The report identifies two main challenges:

  1. Because most partnerships involve one company, they do not fully benefit from the collective expertise that would come from having multiple companies involved.
  2. Until now, there has not been a uniform means of tracking outcomes and measuring the impact of these partnerships.

The report also lists the critical success factors for increasing the impact of global health partnerships: 

  • Adoption of an approach based on health needs
  • Emphasis on broad-based, multicompany partnerships
  • Alignment of existing and future partnerships to maximize shared resources and expertise
  • Emphasis on existing country systems and local ownership 
  • Implementation of tracking and measurement programs to evaluate impact

This report relied on data from 220 partnerships submitted to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA)’s Developing World Health Partnerships Directory.  “Global health issues are complex, and solutions often require a range of organizations working together,” said Eduardo Pisani, IFPMA Director General. “By better understanding the value of partnerships, our industry and partners have enhanced the impact of these programs dramatically in recent years. This year, we are pleased that BSR analyzed these programs and made suggestions for increasing the benefit to people in developing countries.”

Key Findings of BSR’s Review of 220 Global Health Partnerships

Disease focus:

  • 20 percent focus on HIV/AIDS
  • 16 percent focus on neglected tropical diseases
  • 16 percent focus on women and children’s health
  • 14 percent focus on malaria
  • 14 percent focus on noncommunicable diseases 

Types of programs:

  • 79 percent focus on training
  • 59 percent of R&D-based partnerships focused on the development of new treatments 
  • 50 percent focus on strengthening the health system infrastructure
  • 36 percent focus on improving availability of treatments, including donation programs
  • 38 percent focus on awareness raising, prevention, and outreach


  • 62 percent involve NGOs; other top partners are government and academia
  • 15 percent involve multiple research-based pharmaceutical companies


About BSR
BSR works with its global network of nearly 300 member companies to build a just and sustainable world. From its offices in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, BSR develops sustainable business strategies and solutions through consulting, research, and cross-sector collaboration. Visit for more information about BSR’s more than 20 years of leadership in sustainability. 

About the IFPMA
IFPMA represents the research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe. The research-based pharmaceutical industry’s 1.3 million employees research, develop and provide medicines and vaccines that improve the life of patients worldwide. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community find solutions that improve global health. 

IFPMA manages global initiatives including: IFPMA Developing World Health Partnerships studies and identifies trends for the research-based pharmaceutical industry's long-term partnership programs to improve health in developing countries, IFPMA Code of Practice sets unsurpassed standards for interactions with the healthcare community, IFPMA Clinical Trials Portal helps patients and health professionals find out about on-going clinical trials and trial results.


Eva Dienel
+1 (415) 984-3233
Communications Manager, BSR