The union of human, animal and environmental health that promotes the well-being of the future

The health crisis derived from Covid-19 pandemic Not only has it completely changed social patterns, it has also highlighted the importance of health on our priority list.

More and more people are seeking well-being in all vital prisms: habits, diet, lifestyle and also education. The latter includes knowledge of the environmental impact, precisely at a time when the planet calls for a higher level of awareness to stop the rapid advance of climate change.

Countries, governments, organizations and companies work to guarantee global sustainability, but some companies have been promoting a philosophy of paradigm shift for years. This is the case of MSD, a biomedical whose objective is make a difference in people’s lives around the world through innovative medicines, vaccines and animal health products.

MSD works for the prevention and treatment of many of the world’s most challenging diseases with the goal of fulfilling its mission to save and improve lives. So your Business DNA goes through research of new antimicrobials, a task they have carried out for 80 years, thanks to extensive investment in R&D, to curb the rise of drug-resistant microorganisms.

The biomedical company also wants to ensure that in the process of making its products, the least possible environmental impact is produced. This philosophy is combined under the concept ‘One Health’: a unique well-being shared by all parties that, in addition, is eco friendly.

“At MSD we incorporate a single health approach, One Health, as indicated by the WHO, to contribute to continue providing innovative solutions for people’s health in a more comprehensive way, taking care of animal health and protecting our environment ”, underlines the president and general director of MSD in Spain, Ana Argelich.

To delve into the challenges that the ‘One Health’ concept proposes, MSD focused its third edition of the Health Innovation Forum, held between October 25 and 31 (a space in which industry news and present and future challenges are put on the table), on this theme.

“We are one of the few biomedical companies committed to the focus on a single global health”Argelich declared at the Health Innovation Forum. At MSD we live it very intensely ”, he added.

Environmental alarm

The Climate Summit (COP-26) that is taking place this week in Glasgow, Scotland, has highlighted the challenges that the planet faces to guarantee a livable future. Last Sunday, the world powers that attended the G20 in Rome agreed to set the global warming ceiling at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

MSD supports the global effort to reduce energy demand and minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Along these lines, the company announced new objectives for achieve carbon neutrality in all your operations by 2025 and a 30% reduction in emissions from its value chain by 2030. In addition, it has set the goal of making 100% of the energy it buys renewable.

In addition to pandemics, epidemics or other health crises, “globalization and climate change are two of the main threats to health,” he explains. Juan Carlos Castillejo, President and CEO of MSD Animal Health in Spain and Portugal.

The challenges that the climate crisis has drawn on the board have led companies to gradually implement measures with a more favorable impact on the environment. In the case of MSD, the incorporation of the ‘One Health’ concept allows us to continue betting on innovation and development, although through less polluting projects.

Covid or avian flu “have acted as an accelerator for the adoption and prioritization” of services such as MSD. “It has always been a priority, since 60% of known infectious diseases and 75% of emerging diseases originate from zoonoses,” Castillejo said at the Health Innovation Forum.

The health of the planet suffers, also that of humans with the arrival of epidemics that put everything established at the social level in check. Now more than ever it is necessary to anticipate the future, especially if health is at stake.

Action, reaction, innovation

The monitoring of behaviors that improve animal welfare and the prevention of diseases and their impact on food safety are some of the keys to MSD. These measures contribute “to the economic, social and environmental sustainability of livestock companies and to a better coexistence of pets in families”, as expressed by Juan Carlos Castillejo.

The investment in R&D, in state-of-the-art technologies and in a team of leading researchers make MSD one of the leading companies in the sector. The company has been producing products that have the ‘One Health’ seal for nearly five years.

One of them is PROA (Program for the Optimization of Antibiotics), “Aimed at a better management of antimicrobial treatments, together with the administration and scientific societies”, explains Argelich. MSD not only seeks to alleviate animal diseases, but also to find the resistance points of microbes. Another of the projects developed in its laboratories has been the Ebola vaccine, an example of collaborative work between human and animal health.

The company’s commitment to preventive, environmental and energy policy makes it a plausible example of the nexus between health, innovation and commitment to sustainability.

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