Global Population Health

Global Population Health

Established in 2015, our Global Population Health organization focuses on the complex intersections between the world’s health needs and our company’s priorities and expertise. Because our medicines and vaccines target important health problems that affect millions of people on a global basis, we are—by definition—in the population health business.

Improving population health is an overarching goal for 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 three main goals are:

  1. To make a material difference in contributing to improved population health
  2. To create significant and sustained corporate value
  3. To show improvements in our own employee population health with exemplary best practices in the industry

In support of these goals, 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.


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)—or, 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. For additional detail, please visit the section on AMS of this report, which highlights some specific activities in the United States and throughout the world.

Learn more about AMS.


In August 2016, we entered into a partnership with the CDC Foundation under which 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 supports 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 is to give women who want to delay or avoid pregnancy an effective means to do so, and the option to prevent the devastating, lifelong consequences of severe birth defects the Zika virus can cause.

Since the agreement was finalized, our Medical Affairs team has worked with our colleagues in Puerto Rico to support the training of 150 local health care providers in counseling, insertion and removal of our contraceptives. 


As an employer with over 68,000 employees worldwide, 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 Environmental, Health & Safety to build a culture of health in addition to our long-standing commitment to a culture of safety.

Learn more about Employee Well-Being.

Learn more about Employee Safety.


As part of our commitment to improving global population health, we work to empower patients by addressing 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 detail, 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.