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The Eli Lilly MDR TB Partnership Creating Private and Public Value Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1125 1566 Words (6 Pages) Alan M. Trager, Jessica Droste Yagan Harvard Kennedy School : HKS239
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Eli Lilly and Company is one of the largest pharmaceutical groups in the world which is ranked tenth in the world in terms of its turnover. The pharmaceutical company is known to have played an important role in improving healthcare profiles around the world by developing a number of drugs and treatments for all kinds of diseases.

The case relates to Eli Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, which is a corporate social responsibility program to eradicate an infectious disease around the world. Eli Lilly MDR-TB Partnership is a program to address the global health crisis posed by a highly communicable disease. This partnership in health is Lilly's response to the urgent need to find solutions to the problem of MDR-TB in developing countries. The fundamental goal is to enhance awareness regarding the treatment of this disease to the global health community and to promote the adoption of effective solutions and their implementation around the world.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Problem Statement    

  2. Situation Analysis    

  3. Alternatives    

  4. Recommendation    

  5. Implementation Plan  

Case Analysis for The Eli Lilly MDR TB Partnership Creating Private and Public Value

Despite early successes, there are numerous problems associated with meeting the objectives of the program. The timely diagnosis of the treatment in developing countries is still a major challenge towards the eradication of the disease that is communicable to a considerable degree. Cultural differences make it difficult to transfer knowledge and skills to high-risk regions. Further, coordination with global healthcare organizations is still proving to be a major challenge. 

Situation Analysis

The situation analysis of the program entails a comparison of the achievements of the program against its objectives. The objectives of the program were multidimensional comprising of accessibility of the drugs, transfer of technology and increased awareness among healthcare professionals. Lilly MDR-TB partnership was also set to out to impart education, training and better care for millions of people around the world who suffer from multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. This partnership was designed to establish delivery of antibiotics to disadvantaged populations and transmit knowledge in the manufacture of medicines to countries with the burden of TB.

After ten years of the implementation of the program, this highly contagious disease is still difficult to treat and is an increasingly important threat more for international public health. MDR affects an estimated four hundred fifty thousand people annually. According to the statistics of the World Health Organization, even today, an average patient with MDR-TB is likely to infect up to twenty other people during the course of the disease and cases are detected in almost all countries. Medicines that are utilized for the treatment of MDR-TB are either poorly employed or managed inadequately by healthcare staff in developing countries.

Analysis of the case also shows that much of Lilly’s efforts have been focused on increasing the production capacity and distribution of drugs. Lilly had also initiated a contribution in the form of discounts for two medicines for the regions facing MDR-TB outbreaks and increased its production capacity. The initial objective was to transfer the application of its research freely in the form of manufacturing technology for the pharmaceutical manufacturers of the region in those countries which were most affected by the disease. The positive results were achieved only to a limited extent.

The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership had initiated in the year 2003, becoming one of the signature programs of Lilly corporate responsibility. Lilly had initially committed to the original $70 million at the time of the formation of the partnership, to gain recognition of MDR-TB on the agenda of global health and technology transfer of the business. However, Lilly’s contribution to the program has occurred much higher than the initial agreed-upon amount. This implies that the degree of commitment towards the program is not the main issue; however, the initial estimates about the extent of the problem and the efforts required to eradicate the disease were inaccurate.

Contribution by the company has been in multifarious forms. Lilly has contributed a sum of $15 million to launch and sustain the effort during the initial period of five years. Included in the initial funding from Lilly was 9 million in the form of medicines, state-of-the-art and advanced level laboratories, assistance to carry out research locally, as well as, $6 million in the form of monetary contribution. This shows that the contribution by Eli Lilly was adequately balanced between various components of the program.

Another key issue identified in the case is that the majority of the efforts have been targeted towards only a few regions such as China. In China, there was a very grave shortage of drug-resistant tuberculosis and the number of cases reported during the year was very high. The proportion of China was almost a quarter of all cases of MDR-TB reported worldwide. Together with the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention and a number of hospitals, Lilly partnership to combat MDR-TB plays an important role in shaping a sustainable approach to learning through the development of training materials and tools, which provided information on the prevention, diagnosis, analysis of drug sensitivity of patients with MDR-TB. There is a sizeable proportion of the patients in rural and slum areas of India, the USSR and South Africa to name a few. The focus of the program should have been balanced between different regions which didn’t occur during the ten years’ management of the program. Thus, it is identified during the analysis that a lack of focus on information sharing, creating newer partnerships, transferring technology and coverage of diverse regions resulted in incomplete attainment of program objectives.

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