AbbVie unveils diversity, climate and accessibility strategies in new report
All eyes are on AbbVie. The company’s rounding out its first decade on Wall Street this year, and over the next five, it’s predicted to beat out Pfizer to become the world’s top-selling pharma giant.
But it isn’t just about sales. More and more pharma companies are publishing reports to outline climate, societal, and even pricing goals. Last week, AbbVie laid out its strategy in its latest Environment, Social & Governance (ESG) report.
Amid a big sustainability push in the pharma industry, AbbVie has been able to reduce its carbon emissions by 25% since 2015. By 2035, the company hopes to reach 50%.
“We recognize that our company and our industry hold a unique opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives, but it’s not just the breakthroughs we achieve that matter, it’s also the paths we take to achieve them,” the report states.
In addition to cutting down on carbon emissions, AbbVie promised to source 100% of its energy from renewable sources by 2035, and send zero waste to landfills. In 2021, the company was able to divert 92% of its waste from landfills and purchased 32% of its electricity from renewable sources.
To achieve those goals, the pharma giant has been introducing more electric and hybrid vehicles to its fleet. In the UL, 95% of all new vehicles were hybrid or electric. The company also replaced 30-year-old steam boilers at its Campo Verde, Italy manufacturing site last year with ones that are much more efficient.
Climate goals are just one pillar of AbbVie’s ESG report. The company also committed to diversifying its workforce and clinical trials, as industry-wide calls for trials to represent the populations they serve grow louder.
Of the 53 drugs approved in 2020, Black patients represented about 8% of participants in the trials regulators based their decisions on. To put that in perspective, Black Americans represent about 13% of the US population and are more likely to die from certain conditions like heart disease and most cancers than white Americans.
“To effectively serve the populations living with the diseases that we study and for whom we create solutions, it is imperative to design inclusive clinical research programs with equitable access for patients and physicians,” AbbVie’s report states.
In the last couple of years, the pharma company says it has established a team to foster a “data-driven” approach to achieving more inclusive trials and hired its first director of clinical trial diversity and inclusion to oversee the operation. The plan also involves measures like selecting strategic trial sites and expanding its investigator pool.
Within the company, AbbVie noted that it’s committed to pay equity, and conducts annual analyses to “ensure pay is equitable across genders and ethnicities.”
“We also recognize that innovative treatments can only make a difference if patients can access the medicines that they and their providers choose,” the report states.
That’s where accessibility efforts come in. In the US, AbbVie provides co-pay assistance, regardless of income, to all patients with commercial insurance. Most eligible patients pay $5-10 per month for their AbbVie medicines, according to the company.
Last week, Evaluate Pharma predicted that AbbVie will become the world’s top-selling pharma company by 2028.
“As we approach our 10-year anniversary of being an independent company, we will continue to innovate with integrity and intention to advance the long-term health of our patients, our people and our planet,” the company said.