Welcome to our 2018 CSR Report. I am proud to be representing the business for the first time, on issues that are integral to how we think and work at Ferring.
Last year was an important year of transition for us all in different ways, and I am grateful to my predecessor Michel Pettigrew for handing me a sound legacy on which to build. This legacy is rooted in both our values, as defined by the Ferring Philosophy, as well as the value that we bring to our patients, employees, communities, and all other stakeholders whose lives we touch through our work.
Our business has been steadily evolving over the last ten years to ensure that the patient and their unmet needs are always firmly at the centre of our work, from the first research stage through to distribution and commercialisation of our treatments. We are working to better anticipate, and respond to, their needs effectively, and in 2018 we created a Chief Patient Officer (CPO) role to help us do this.
We’re also excited to be building new medical frontiers in the field of microbiome therapy through our acquisition of Rebiotix. It’s an area which offers enormous potential to improve lives – by addressing unmet needs in our current focus therapy areas, and beyond. It demands new technology, new relationships and new thinking. It’s a blue ocean, and we’re pleased to be one of the first to jump in.
And then there is reproductive medicine and women’s health, representing over 40% of our business, where our mission remains to be the world-leading and most trusted healthcare company. From fertility to safe birth, our key challenge here is access, and ensuring that women and their families have access to quality treatments. Through our #projectfamily conversation, Ferring is working with stakeholders in the field to drive change, and help people build families around the world. Those who have access or can afford it still represent a very small percentage in the world.
I am humbled by the work we have done through CHAMPION, and our commitment to develop a heat stable treatment to prevent post-partum haemorrhage (PPH) and make it available to low and lower-middle income countries at a subsidised access price. However, our work here has just begun, and we need to ensure that we get this potentially life-saving treatment to the women who need it most. We need a new model here that can deliver affordable medicine to those who need it – be it India or Kenya. This demands creative partnerships, advocacy and policy change. Here we can play our part, and we can learn from other disease areas such as diabetes, where companies are delivering access through both commercial value-driven models as well as strong sustainability programmes.
In the coming year, I want to see us better align our CSR efforts with the business. CSR is a key driver for employee engagement, so let’s build a better volunteering culture; let colleagues take the initiative, let’s learn from others. We also need to build on our commitments to the Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals to create stronger partnerships in projects such as CHAMPION and others.
This letter has afforded me a great opportunity to renew those commitments, share with you my thoughts on our progress so far and my vision for a future Ferring in which CSR enables us to be the best business we can be. I greatly look forward to hearing your views. I’m here to listen and learn.
President and Chief Science Officer