Sanofi-aventis: Fighting Sleeping Sickness in Africa

Sanofi-aventis is the largest pharmaceutical company in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. In 2001, sanofi-aventis began a partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) to fight sleeping sickness and other neglected diseases affecting the world’s poorest populations. Over the first five years, 36 African countries benefited from the sanofi-aventis/WHO partnership programme with the number of new cases reported in these countries dropping. In October of 2006, sanofi-aventis and the WHO renewed their collaboration with a new agreement covering an extended range of neglected tropical diseases and an additional commitment of US$25 million over the next five years. This case examines the special challenges and opportunities faced by this partnership and the innovative ways in which the partnership has been kept strong and sustainable. It also discusses some of the challenges faced by this programme in delivering effective healthcare to the rural poor, because many live in remote parts of Africa.

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