Contributing privileged access to top healthcare

15:00 | 27/02/2020
As a global leader in healthcare and pharmaceuticals, Sanofi has joined Vietnam’s efforts to improve access to vaccines and innovative medicine. David Tick, head of Vaccines under Sanofi Indochina, talked to VIR’s Bich Thuy about the company’s future investment plans amid enforcement of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

What were the highlights of Sanofi Vietnam’s performance and contributions in 2019?

contributing privileged access to top healthcare
David Tick, head of Vaccines under Sanofi Indochina

Sanofi is the only multinational pharmaceutical company which has been continuously present since the 1950s in Vietnam. With a strong commitment, we have always accompanied and supported the Vietnamese government in the implementation of national strategies to develop the local pharmaceutical industry.

Currently, we are focusing on broadening the access of Vietnamese patients to our integrated healthcare solutions with more than 150 innovative and research-based products for millions of Vietnamese patients to prevent and treat ailments. Last year, we brought around 2.8 million vaccine doses to help protect adults, adolescents, and children from infectious diseases such as polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and encephalitis.

Between 2017 and 2019, we launched 35 new therapeutic solutions to meet the different needs of treatment for Vietnamese patients, and this journey will go on. Besides this, we have also positively contributed to healthcare science by organising around 50 dedicated training programmes for more than 20,000 healthcare workers in various therapeutic areas with investment amounting to $24.5 million.

Last year was a special one for Sanofi as it marked our important milestone of becoming the first multinational pharmaceutical company to acquire import rights.

We believe in the bright future of the Vietnamese healthcare industry which will help Sanofi ensure a stable supply of imported innovative products.

Vietnamese patients have an increasing need for innovative healthcare solutions, especially vaccinations. How will the company respond to the market’s evolution?

At Sanofi Pasteur, our global vaccines business unit, we are currently investing in our portfolio which is led by our innovative pediatric and influenza vaccines that offer the protection against a wide range of infectious diseases, including polio, pertussis, tetanus, and meningitis, to name but a few. Sanofi Pasteur is a world leader in influenza and pediatric vaccines, and the largest supplier of polio injectable vaccines worldwide.

However, challenges might not come from these typically preventable diseases but primarily from non-communicable and chronic diseases. Rising expectations of a growing middle class who will demand better quality and more technological sophistication in healthcare will also put pressure on the sector.

Therefore, as a research-based vaccine manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur is committed to continuously collaborating with our immunisation partners including major universities, research institutes, government bodies, and biotechnology companies to forge solutions and maintain ongoing dialogues.

Together with our partners, we will share efforts for immunisation, in concert with a policy climate supportive of continuous investment in research and manufacturing for a sustainable supply of high-quality and innovative vaccines within a balanced ecosystem.

Moreover, we closely collaborate with health authorities to sustain the vaccine ecosystem, starting from manufacturing over sustainable supply and delivery to vaccine implementation programmes – all of which are crucial in ensuring vaccine access to the communities who need these the most.

The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement has been ratified. What are Sanofi Vietnam’s plans to cash in on the deal’s benefits?

We are very excited about the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement’s ratification by the European Parliament. We are working with different stakeholders and partners in this industry to be better prepared for its implementation. The goal is to ensure that Vietnamese patients have privileged access to our innovative healthcare solutions.

At a global level, our recent collaborative efforts with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to leverage previous development work for a SARS vaccine, which may unlock a fast path forward for developing a COVID-19 vaccine, are the best demonstration of our commitment.

In addition, our researchers are seeking effective methods to extend the benefits of vaccinations.

In Vietnam, we continue to partner with public and private health organisations as well as medical and scientific communities to improve access to life-protecting vaccines and increase their coverage. Meanwhile, we are striving to bring in new and innovative vaccines to enhance people’s health and wellbeing as we believe that no one should suffer or die from a vaccine-preventable disease.

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