Lilly Invests $30 Million in Partnership to Address Non-Communicable Diseases in Developing Countries

Sep 13, 2011 | Corporate Member News

The Lilly NCD Partnership will seek innovative solutions to help fight chronic diseases in developing countries

Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) announced today a $30 million commitment over five years to fight the rising burden of non-communicable diseases in developing nations. Lilly is launching The Lilly NCD Partnership, which combines the company’s unique resources with the expertise of leading global health organizations, to identify new models of patient care that increase treatment access and improve outcomes for underserved people. The partnership will initially focus on diabetes – a core business area in which Lilly has deep expertise.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), known as chronic diseases, include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. The first phase of The Lilly NCD Partnership will focus on improving diabetes care in targeted communities in Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa.

“Non-communicable diseases are afflicting nations, communities and families around the world, with the most vulnerable bearing most of the burden,” said John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., Lilly chairman, president, and chief executive officer. “We believe we have a responsibility – and are uniquely positioned – to assist in the global fight against these diseases. In partnership with leading health organizations, Lilly will contribute its deep expertise and the company’s broad research capabilities to help find solutions for these pressing societal needs.”

Lilly and its partners continue to develop country-specific programs that will launch in early 2012. Lilly and its partners will develop country-specific milestones that, if achieved, will trigger future investments. Partners include:

  • Brazil: Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein – Diagnostic & Preventive Medicine and Research Institute
  • India: The Public Health Foundation of India, Project HOPE, Population Services International
  • Mexico: The Carlos Slim Health Institute – Casalud
  • South Africa: The Donald Woods Foundation, Project HOPE 

The Lilly NCD Partnership Approach

The new program, based on the concept of “shared value,” is designed to identify comprehensive, sustainable approaches to patient care, which, depending on local needs, may include everything from patient education and provider training to increased access to treatment. The concept of “shared value,” developed by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, and originally published in the Harvard Business Review, occurs when a business identifies a select societal need and applies its business model in collaboration with others to find new solutions.

Leveraging the company’s business model, the Lilly NCD Partnership will use the following methodology:

  • Research: Pilot models of healthcare for diabetes based on sophisticated research and detailed data collection.
  • Report: Work with well-respected partners to share data and key learnings.
  • Advocate: Inform key stakeholders about program findings and encourage adoption of proven, cost-effective solutions.

“The business community can – and must – play a vital role in addressing complex societal problems. And it’s clear that writing a check or donating product alone doesn’t have a lasting impact,” said Lechleiter. “A growing body of evidence demonstrates that when a company engages with partners in an area in which it has deep expertise and a vested interest, society benefits and the company enhances its own performance.”

The NCD Challenge

Chronic diseases disproportionately affect the economically disadvantaged, with 80 percent of all NCD deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. NCDs claimed the lives of 36 million people in 2008, according to World Health Organization, representing 63 percent of all global deaths. NCDs are a major contributor to poverty and a barrier to social and economic development.

“While prevention of NCDs is a public health priority, early detection and effective treatment is also needed to avoid premature deaths and reduce disease related disability,” said K Srinath Reddy, M.D., president of the Public Health Foundation of India. “It is important that health systems in developing countries are strengthened, so that they can effectively respond to this challenge.”

Jacques Tapiero, president of Lilly’s emerging market business group, noted, “NCDs in developing countries haven’t garnered the same attention that TB, HIV/AIDS and malaria have. There are few successful models of treatment for NCDs and limited international funding. Meanwhile, governments in developing countries are recognizing the need to focus resources on NCD treatment and prevention. The Lilly NCD Partnership will work closely with governments to identify, evaluate and prioritize healthcare solutions that meaningfully reduce the burden of chronic diseases in cost effective ways.”

“Advancing the Conversation” around NCDs

Lilly supports the upcoming United Nations High Level Meeting in New York, September 19-20, which will provide much-needed momentum toward uniting global efforts in addressing the complex barriers to effective diagnosis and treatment of people with or at risk for NCDs. Consistent with U.N. recommendations for progress against NCDs, Lilly supports active, open collaboration among government, the private sector, civil society and local communities.

To help further awareness of the need for better care for NCDs, Lilly CEO Lechleiter will participate in a September 14 conference hosted by Washington Post Live – “Sharing the Responsibility: Non-Communicable Diseases.” Sponsored by Lilly, the conference will feature global thought leaders discussing the NCD challenge and potential solutions, including the role of public-private partnerships. In addition, Lechleiter will speak and participate in a panel discussion on NCDs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation – Senior Leaders Meeting, on September 16. APEC attendees will include ministers of health from APEC countries.

“We will use our expertise and resources to collaborate on comprehensive solutions that go beyond medicines alone, especially in countries with less developed healthcare systems,” Lechleiter said. “This partnership is a natural extension of Lilly’s vision to improve global health in the 21st century.”

Lilly Corporate Responsibility

The Lilly NCD Partnership will complement The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, a highly successful program the company launched in 2003 to help address multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, which afflicts some of the poorest people in the world. These programs underscore Lilly’s primary corporate responsibility focus on improving health for people in need, especially in developing countries.

Lilly’s corporate responsibility efforts also include improving K-12 education in the company’s home state of Indiana, strengthening communities that are home to Lilly’s major operations and fostering a healthier environment.

About Eli Lilly and Company

Lilly, a leading innovation-driven corporation is developing a growing portfolio of pharmaceutical products by applying the latest research from its own worldwide laboratories and from collaborations with eminent scientific organizations. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., Lilly provides answers – through medicines and information – for some of the world’s most urgent medical needs. Additional information about Lilly is available at CR-LLY 

For further information: David Marbaugh, U.S. office, +1-317-277-5620, mobile +1-317-489-7109; Karen Van der Westhuizen, Geneva, +41-22-306-0322 Web Site:

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