Accepted paper:

Pharmaceutical companies and NGOs - providing solutions through development partnerships


Helen Hawthorne (Middlesex University)

Paper short abstract:

Pharmaceutical companies and NGOs are increasingly entering into partnerships to address a health related issues. This paper researches some of these partnerships and asks who benefits from them and how; and who holds the power in the relationship.

Paper long abstract:

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been cited as business goals and many companies are now including statements regarding their role in implementing and helping to achieve the SDGs in their Corporate Social Responsibility statements. The companies involved include those in the pharmaceutical sector who have been partnering with a variety of NGOs. Key examples include the GlaxoSmithKline partnership with Save the Children aimed at reducing child mortality and Novo Nordisk's partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide insulin to migrants at favourable prices. This paper investigates the partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and NGOs to assess who has really benefited from these partnerships and how they impact the states that they are trying to help. It is based on interviews with representatives of the pharmaceutical companies and NGOs, as well as documents relating to these partnerships. It attempts to assess how the power relationships are balanced between the actors, as well as assess the challenges and possibilities which have emerged from these partnerships.

panel D4
Partnerships in practice: power and inequality in development partnerships with the private sector