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The Warsaw Voice » Other » November 19, 2008
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GSK - A Responsible Company
November 19, 2008   
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The history of today's GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical corporation dates back to the 18th century. Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKlineBeecham, which merged in 2000 to form GlaxoSmithKline, were major healthcare companies, setting the direction of development of modern science and medicine. From the 1970s they have been bringing tried and tested formulas to Poland.

Since buying a Poznań-based plant in 1998, GSK has invested $417.5 million in Poland. It has launched production of 115 new medicines in Poznań. Nearly 40 percent of the plant's production is exported to several dozen countries around the world. The company employs over 1,600 in Poland and takes on 150 interns each year. GSK offers more than 470 products in Poland. It is a leader in major therapy areas - respiratory and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, antibiotic therapy, prevention and treatment of thrombosis, viral and neurological diseases. It is growing dynamically in the vaccines and oncology sector. It also offers a wide range of over-the-counter products.

Being a pharmaceutical market leader in Poland entails responsibility. That is why GSK is a partner for the healthcare system, as well as for research, academic and medical institutions. It works on projects boosting the innovative edge of Polish science, including analytical work and teaching students, projects run jointly with Polish colleges. GSK is also a co-organizer and partner of scientific conferences devoted to the latest technology in the pharmaceutical industry.

GSK President in Poland, Jerzy Toczyski, says, "Responding to the need to provide patients with truly innovative medications, we are revolutionizing our approach to innovation. We listen to the payer, who is applying increasingly tight requirements for therapy refunding. That is why we are adjusting our scientific and clinical research program so that we can provide the market exclusively with drugs that can be refunded. We also invest in the development of Poland-based logistics operations that provide services for other markets. Out IT center renders global services. We develop clinical research and we have a research and development team that participates in international R&D projects."

For years, together with central and local governments, GSK has worked to improve Poles' health, promoting health education and disease prevention. In 2007 it initiated the Promyk Dnia (Sunbeam) program that involves developing a network of 50 health and development centers. These facilities run a special educational programs promoting children's safety in rural areas, their physical and intellectual development and health education.

In Poznań and Cracow, GSK runs scientific and social centers that hold dozens of training sessions for medical personnel and educational workshops for local residents. The center organizes, for example, the Lato z GSK (Summer With GSK) initiative for children from dysfunctional families who spend their summer holidays in the city, memory improvement workshops for senior residents and first aid courses.

GSK has initiated many educational campaigns promoting regular medical examinations and preventative vaccination, such as STOP Cervical Cancer aimed at creating a coalition for the prevention of a disease that kills five Polish women a day; Żółty Tydzień (Yellow Week), a GSK initiative that has greatly contributed to a drop of the number of cases of hepatitis B in Poland (over several years, the figure has fallen by 80 percent); and Mamo, masz wybór (Mom, You Have a Choice), which aims to teach parents about ways of protecting children against the most serious infectious diseases.

The nationwide educational program Mam haka na raka (I've got the answer for cancer) is aimed at teaching young people about cancer. The Przejmij kontrolę - wygraj z astmą! (Win with Asthma) program turns the attention of physicians and patients to proper control of the disease's symptoms and is designed to inform people that sufferers can control asthma and lead a normal life.

Also, GSK has for several years taken part in the international Positive Action program, working together with organizations helping people infected with HIV, providing support in education about preventing HIV/AIDS.

For nearly three years GSK has collaborated with the General Physicians' Chamber on a project promoting ethical partnership between healthcare staff and the medical and pharmaceutical industries.

"Our investments, the principle-based approach to business ethics and social responsibility programs are the foundations of our strategy of building trust for GlaxoSmithKline both in the community of physicians, pharmacists and patients, and among government agency officials in Poland," said Toczyski.

Beata Gołębiewska

GSK Commercial Sp. z o.o., Rzymowskiego 53, 02-697 Warsaw, Phone 22 576 90 00, www.gsk.com.pl
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