Although a newcomer to the healthcare scene, global pharmaceutical company Viatris, formed in November 2020 through a merger of Upjohn, a legacy division of Pfizer, and Mylan, already has a sizable industry footprint. By combining the two complementary businesses, the merger has accelerated their ability to serve patients and expanded their resources across more than 165 markets. Viatris’ global portfolio comprises more than 1,400 molecules across a comprehensive list of therapeutic areas and includes best-in-class, iconic brand-name products, as well as global key brands, generics, biosimilars, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
The name Viatris, which is derived from Latin, represents the company’s mission to realize its vision of empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life through (via) the pursuit of three (tris) paths:
Access – providing high quality, trusted medicines to patients regardless of geography or circumstance;
Leadership – advancing sustainable operations and innovative solutions to improve patient health; and
Partnership – leveraging collective expertise to connect people to products and services.
Brian Chang, general manager of Viatris Taiwan, notes that Viatris’ robust portfolio includes a wide array of products and quality treatment options across more than 10 major therapeutic areas. These include cardiovascular, pain management, urology, central nervous system, oncology, immunology, women’s healthcare, diabetes and metabolism, gastroenterology, respiratory and allergy, dermatology, and OTC products such as glucosamine for joints and bones.
In addition to providing reliable medicines, Chang emphasizes that giving people access to correct information is another crucial step toward helping them live healthier at every stage of life.
“We collaborate with industry, NGOs, and the medical community to promote an improved, sustainable healthcare environment,” he says. “That is why we set up a team with healthcare professionals to conduct over 300 disease awareness events per year in Taiwan.”
One of Viatris’ most notable accomplishments globally is its efforts in combating tuberculosis (TB), which remains one of the ten most common causes of death worldwide. Chang stresses that treating TB is particularly important during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to COVID-19, TB attacks the lungs, which puts patients with TB at greater risk of complications from the coronavirus. Through a collaboration with the non-profit TB Alliance, Viatris has made TB medicine available to public health programs in 150 low- and middle-income countries for a mere US$2 per day.
In Taiwan, Viatris has made donations of the first-line medication of choice in treating anaphylaxis to the Taiwan Development Association for Disaster Medical Teams for emergency use in remote regions. This medication can provide patients experiencing severe allergic reactions with some relief and buy them more time before they arrive at the hospital.
Viatris also plans to accelerate the launch of its biosimilars, a move that Chang notes is imperative to increasing patient access to life-saving drugs and ensuring the sustainability of Taiwan’s National Health Insurance system. Viatris is a leading global provider of biosimilars and has received regulatory approval for biosimilars in more than 85 countries, as well as over 150 marketing authorizations globally. The company has made significant investments in medical studies and analyses to ensure that its biosimilars maintain the same standards of efficacy and safety, and contain the same immunogenicity profiles, as their reference products.
Regardless of Viatris’ impressive portfolio, Chang stresses that its most highly valued asset is its employees.
“Viatris firmly believes that happy employees are the backbone of a successful business, so investing in workplace wellness is one of our main priorities,” he says. “That is why we implemented flexible working arrangements to protect employees in response to the recent pandemic. In addition, as authorities extended school vacations in Taiwan to curb the spread of COVID-19, we responded by providing family-care leave for our coworkers.”
Viatris has established 17 employee clubs for recreational activities such as golfing, camping, yoga, and cooking. These clubs aim to improve employee health, relieve stress, and enhance employee engagement. Furthermore, the company ends the Friday working day at 4:30 pm, enabling employees to spend more time with friends and family.
Viatris emphasizes a performance-driven, engaging, inclusive, and entrepreneurial work culture, says Chang. He notes that the company also promotes four core values for organizational behavior: accountability, teamwork, simplicity, and growth mindset and awards employees who adopt those behaviors to pursue their goals during quarterly sync-up meetings.
In addition, the company this year participated for the first time in the HR Asia Awards and received high scores from colleagues in the Employee Engagement Survey.
Encouraging various perspectives enables innovation, Chang says. He adds that Viatris will persist in its ventures into new healthcare solutions by envisioning healthcare “not as it is, but as it should be.”
Viatris strives to address patients’ needs and improve global health by introducing various new branded drugs and products. It also plans to launch new dermatology, respiratory, and allergy products, as well as medical devices for osteoarthritis. Utilizing the strengths of the merger and the entrepreneurial spirit of its employees, Viatris can advance healthcare solutions while maintaining responsible and sustainable operations.
Chang concludes that Viatris “will continue to explore people’s unmet needs on healthcare issues with a diversified approach, using new technology and big data to create innovative solutions that improve people’s health.”