Viatris: A Commitment to Expanding Access to Healthcare Worldwide

Ian MatthewsNews

Viatris has set out to reimagine healthcare, not as it is, but as it should be. Created through the combination of Mylan N.V. and Pfizer’s Upjohn business, Viatris is a new kind of global healthcare company focused on helping everyone, everywhere get the healthcare they need.

Viatris’ product portfolio spans both non-communicable and infectious diseases, including globally recognized brands, complex generic and branded medicines, a growing portfolio of biosimilars (a biological product highly similar to an existing approved product) and a variety of over-the-counter consumer products.

With a deep and diverse portfolio, expansive global infrastructure and industry-leading expertise in science and manufacturing, Viatris is committed to expanding treatment access for people who need it, regardless of geography or circumstance. This commitment is driven by three core pillars: access, leadership and partnership.

ACCESS

Having access to medicines you need when you need them may seem like a simple expectation. Unfortunately, for many people around the world, it is often one that falls short.

Viatris recognized that people in low- and middle-income countries face uniquely difficult health challenges. Lack of healthcare awareness and access to prevention and treatment are key to understanding why these areas are often hit hardest by devastating infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis and malaria.

To better understand their challenges, leaders from one of Viatris’ legacy companies visited Africa over a decade ago to learn more about regional needs, infrastructure and stakeholders involved in providing infectious disease treatment. With this knowledge, the company helped expand access by making new HIV/AIDS medicines available – representing half of the FDA tentative approvals for new products under PEPFAR – and by making them affordable. In low- and middle-income countries, adult treatment is available for $6 per month, and the company recently helped to lower the cost of pediatric treatment by 75%. Viatris continues to look for innovative ways to increase access through the delivery of medicine, such as multi-month antiretrovirals (ARV) packs, that reduce the need for patients to make sometimes costly journeys to refill prescriptions in less developed areas.

LEADERSHIP

Viatris is the leading supplier of ARVs, serving about 40% of people on treatment for HIV worldwide. It also supplies pediatric medicines to more than half the HIV-positive children who are on treatment.

As a pioneer in HIV/AIDS treatment, Viatris was the first to market a World Health Organization (WHO) first-line HIV treatment regimen for adults new to ART treatment in 2017. Two years later, WHO gave prequalification approval to the Viatris HIV Self-Test, developed in collaboration with medical device manufacturer, Atomo Diagnostics. Viatris is also addressing the unique challenge of treating children by supplying ARVs in formulations specifically designed for their needs, such as HIV medicines that dissolve in liquid that are not only palatable for children, but also light and easy to transport.

Beyond HIV/AIDS, Viatris also has made strides in combating other infectious diseases like hepatitis and tuberculosis (TB), and were the first generic manufacturer to receive WHO prequalification for daclatasvir to treat hepatitis C. In collaboration with the TB Alliance (just a few months after FDA approval in 2019), Viatris was able to provide a TB treatment for resistant strains available in low- and middle-income countries. As part of the StopTB Partnership, it has also made this product available in high-burden countries at just $2 a day.

PARTNERSHIP

Through our predecessor companies, Viatris has a strong history of innovative partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies, nonprofits, government agencies, policymakers, trade associations, researchers, advocacy groups and other industry leaders. In 2019, its legacy companies collaborated with more than 60 associations worldwide on global public health issues including both non-communicable and infectious diseases, expanding the reach of this work to build healthier, more sustainable communities.

The Viatris mission and business model directly contributes to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being. Viatris serves as a partner in sustainable development through its commitment to the UN Global Compact and the global sustainable development agenda for 2030, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) created in 2015. Viatris is a proud member of the Private Sector Constituency to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a group of companies that brings the business voice to the Global Fund and helps shape the strategy of the leading funding agency in global health.

“At Viatris, our mission is to empower people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life. We are proud of the work we’ve done through our legacy companies to help build our diverse and differentiated global portfolio today which includes products in more than 10 major therapeutic areas and reaches people in more than 165 countries and territories,” says Erika Satterwhite, Head of Global Policy at Viatris. “But we know our work in expanding access is far from over. For Viatris, this is just the beginning.”

Ian MatthewsViatris: A Commitment to Expanding Access to Healthcare Worldwide