Global Population Health

Global Population Health

Our Global Population Health organization focuses on the complex intersections between the world’s health needs and our company’s priorities and expertise.

Our vision is to make a difference in the lives of people globally through our innovative medicines, vaccines and animal health products.

Because our medicines and vaccines target important health problems that affect millions of people on a global basis, we are heavily involved in global population health.

Improving population health is an overarching goal for many health care stakeholders: countries, payers, and providers who are seeking better prevention; population health management; and community interventions to protect and promote good health. Because of our unique and differentiated reach, and our science and capabilities that can be leveraged in collaboration with partners, we are able to contribute to significant population health improvements.

Our major priorities are:

  1. Deliver on strategic antimicrobial stewardship imperatives in education, implementation, research and advocacy
  2. Advance health literacy for patients and serve as a catalyst for policy change
  3. Support our company’s global efforts to execute population health initiatives and deliver sustainable shared value
  4. Optimize employee health promotion and prevention while building a culture of well-being

In support of these priorities, we work across different business units to develop sustainable models of population health management and high-impact initiatives to improve population outcomes at scale, with a focus on reducing disparities, building capacity and skills, and measuring impact.

The examples below highlight our population health engagement on antimicrobial stewardship, health protection, employee population health, and health literacy. Other focus areas include animal health, cancer, diabetes, emergency preparedness, vaccine-preventable disease, and women’s health.

To learn more, you can read a perspective piece by Cathryn Gunther, associate vice president, Global Population Health, here.


According to the World Health Organization, antimicrobial resistance is a major global threat to population health, with significant associated morbidity, mortality and costs. Recognizing the need to address this global health threat, our company is committed to working with health care providers, patients and governments to promote antimicrobial stewardship (AMS)—the appropriate use of antimicrobials—through education, implementation, research and advocacy initiatives across both human and animal health, with an emphasis on patient outcomes, population health, and value of care. We made significant progress toward this goal in 2017. Learn more.

Education is foundational to AMS, and our company has helped support a variety of educational offerings through independent grants to international, national, regional and state organizations, including those with an infectious diseases–based membership as well as other subspecialty and generalist organizations. We provided an independent grant to support the development and implementation of Web- and in clinic-based patient education strategies on AMS and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) for the urgent-care setting in order to improve health literacy regarding AMR/AMS and patient satisfaction.

We also provided an independent grant to support the development and maintenance of a comprehensive, high-quality AMS Web resource that engages a diverse international audience and covers topics related to clinical practice, infection control and prevention, policy, clinical research and animal health. Learn more.

Outside the United States, we provide preceptorships and workshops for health care providers to learn firsthand from other providers practicing AMS.

Implementation is required for AMS action and impact. In 2017, we completed a two-year collaborative project with the CDC, the CDC Foundation, and the Duke Antimicrobial Stewardship Outreach Network to develop standardized metrics and an outcomes-assessment tool for AMS programs related to patient safety and quality of care. Learn more.

Outside the United States, our company supports AMS implementation in over 1,000 hospitals, providing training to more than 10,000 health care providers, and 575 clinical pathways have been developed based on local-hospital microbiological data.

Research is needed to build and disseminate evidence regarding AMS best practices and their impact on patients and population health. Our company supports an investigator-initiated research grant program specific to AMS and has funded more than 30 studies since 2013. Additionally, we provided an independent grant to support an annual two-day research conference implemented by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, with the goal of improving the quality of AMS research. Learn more.

Advocacy for continued antimicrobial innovation, appropriate AMS and sustainable access is vital to the fight against antimicrobial resistance. We are active in a number of policy and legislative discussions and initiatives, and had several representatives on the European Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) driving reinvestment in research and development and responsible antibiotic use (DRIVE-AB) work packages.

DRIVE-AB was tasked with defining the responsible use of antibiotics, identifying antibiotic-related population health priorities, calculating the societal value of having new antibiotics available for these priorities, and developing economic models to promote the desired antibiotic innovation and the sustainable use of the resulting novel antibiotics. The final report from the DRIVE-AB initiative was released in 2017.

We provide support to the Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership (GARP) to assist low- and middle-income countries in developing country-led national action plans for AMR in support of the World Health Organization goals. The GARP will result in:

  1. Situation analyses of human and animal antibiotic use and resistance, infectious disease burden, health indicators, the pharmaceutical supply chain and pertinent regulations
  2. Individualized national action plans
  3. Implementation plans for each country involved


In August 2016, we entered into a partnership with the CDC Foundation whereby our company agreed to improve access to long-acting reversible contraceptives for eligible local providers and women of childbearing age who live in Puerto Rico.

This agreement supported Z-CAN, or the Zika-Contraceptive Access Network. Z-CAN is a multi-sector public health initiative spearheaded by the CDC Foundation, in partnership with other local agencies and organizations such as the Puerto Rico Department of Health and the Puerto Rico Obstetrics and Gynecology Association, in response to the Zika epidemic.

The goal of the partnership was to give women who want to delay or avoid pregnancy an effective means tof doing so, and the option to prevent the devastating, lifelong consequences of severe birth defects the Zika virus can cause.

Our Medical Affairs team worked with colleagues in Puerto Rico to support the training of 150 local health care providers in counseling, insertion and removal of our contraceptives. In 16 months, 28,000 women received services, 95 percent the same day. All women were counseled on the full range of reversible contraception options.


We have the opportunity to apply the principles that support population health to our own employee population—including dependents and, potentially, other members of our communities. We strive to offer services and programs and create work environments that address the continuum of population health management—for those who are well, those at risk, those with acute or chronic illnesses, and those requiring highly complex care.

We are actively collaborating in and integrating programs and policies that share the common goals of improving employee health and safety, reducing injury and illness, and improving workforce productivity. Our goal is twofold:

  1. Improve the health of our employee population in targeted areas such as cardiometabolic risk, improve routine vaccination rates and screenings, and reduce stress
  2. Establish a workplace culture of well-being that promotes health and wellness and emphasizes daily habits

These goals include increasing physical movement/activity, expanding access to healthier foods, providing education and tools to help mitigate the effects of stress, enhancing policies to eliminate tobacco within our campuses, and collaborating with our Environmental, Health & Safety teams to build a culture of health in addition to our long-standing commitment to a culture of safety.

Learn more about our programs, please visit our Employee Well-Being and Employee Safety pages.1


As part of our commitment to improving global population health, we work to empower patients by advancing health literacy. We have identified opportunities to communicate more clearly with patients, from clinical trials and patient education to packaging. We are also helping health care providers address health literacy, and are influencing policies concerning health literacy at the national and the international level. For additional details, please visit the section on health literacy, which highlights the problem and our commitment, as well as specific activities in the United States and throughout the world.

Learn more about Health Literacy.