11 Feb 2021 11:48

Equitable access to medicine contributes to sustainable growth

Approximately two billion people lack access to healthcare and medication. This means that two billion people are in danger of dying of diseases that are treatable. This number will likely to increase due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a humanitarian loss as well as an economic one. A study from Harvard states that deaths from treatable diseases cost the global economy billions of dollars every year. Through the initiative Access to Medicine, we want to change this.

Since 2019, Alecta and SEB Investment Management have been engaged in the global initiative Access to Medicine that bi-annually ranks the progress of the largest pharmaceutical companies. The aim is, in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 – Good Health and Well-being, to provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all, especially in developing countries.

Our engagement in Access to Medicines is a clear example of how economic growth and societal benefits are aligned. During the last two years Alecta and SEB Investment Management have been engaging with and leading the dialogue with Novo Nordisk. Novo Nordisk is the largest producer of insulin and are thus in the position to ensure that more people have access to medication and treatment. Since we started our engagement with Novo Nordisk, they have lowered the price ceiling of human insulin at USD 3.00 for low- and middle-income countries, set up an insulin production line in Iran and extended the Changing Diabetes in Children initiative to 2030.

It is, as stated, a humanitarian as well as an economic gain for our clients who have entrusted us with their savings. So, we are able to both save lives, improve the quality of life for millions and the opportunity for growth.

It is an example of when an Investor dialogue really works.