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Our Purpose Overview

We have a legacy of saving and improving lives by creating sustainable impact.

For more than a century, we have been inventing medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases and we have built a company with the talent, tenacity and strength to take on some of the biggest threats to human and animal health.

Reflecting our commitment to managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, we continue to focus our approach to corporate responsibility in four primary areas that are of greatest relevance to our business and society.

We live our core commitment to sustainable impact by managing our business responsibly, following our calling to find solutions for some of the world’s most debilitating diseases, striving to reach those in need with our medicines and vaccines and helping to build robust, durable health systems worldwide through partnership, investment and innovation.

We cultivate innovation and excellence by building a diverse and inclusive global workforce, who are empowered to succeed, personally and professionally. We anchor ourselves and our partners to the highest ethical and business standards, and we take responsibility for using resources wisely and minimizing our environmental footprint worldwide.

Our approach to corporate responsibility is about the health, economic, social and environmental impact we have on individuals and communities around the world. We hold ourselves accountable to our many stakeholders, including patients, employees, customers and shareholders, whose perspectives help to define our corporate responsibility priorities.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In addition to responding to the needs of stakeholders, our corporate responsibility efforts also support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”) adopted by the United Nations in 2015 to help end poverty, protect the environment and ensure prosperity.

We have joined global leaders to address the goals on health and well-being, clean water, climate change, diversity and inclusion, responsible consumption and production and others.

Our support of the SDGs is a testament to our company’s 125+ year legacy of inventing for life to create a healthier word for all. For more information, please visit our Sustainable Development Goals page.


Through our long history of philanthropy, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to sustainable impact. Our philanthropic contributions, product donations and employee volunteering efforts, help find solutions to key global health challenges and strengthen communities where our employees live and work.

Total Philanthropy: Pie chart including total philanthropic giving in 2018 - product donations $2.7B, cash grants and contributions $84M, skills-based volunteering $3.1M


Our program investments aim to support interventions that have shown evidence of effectiveness in advancing the quality of health services delivery, reducing health care disparities, fostering innovation in the delivery of health care, and empowering patients as active participants in managing their own health. Learn more about our approach to philanthropy.