What we do
We are a science-led global healthcare company that researches and develops a broad range of innovative medicines and brands. Our products are used by millions of people around the world, helping them to do more, feel better and live longer.
We have three primary areas of business in pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare. Our commercial success depends on creating innovative new products and making these accessible to as many people who need them as possible. By achieving this, we will be able to grow our business and provide benefits to patients, consumers, society, our employees and our shareholders.
With our headquarters in the UK, we have a wide geographical reach. We have offices in more than 115 countries, major research centres in the UK, USA, Spain, Belgium and China and an extensive manufacturing network with 87 sites globally.
Research is vitally important to the success of our business, and we spent just under £4 billion in 2012 in our search to develop new medicines, vaccines and innovating consumer products. We are one of the few healthcare companies researching medicines and vaccines for the World Health Organisation's three priority diseases - HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Our pharmaceuticals business researches, develops and makes available medicines that treat a variety of serious and chronic diseases. We have medicines available or in development in a wide range of areas including:
- infectious diseases
- heart disease
- asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Our vaccine business is one of the largest in the world, with nearly 900 million doses distributed to 170 countries in 2012. We produce paediatric and adult vaccines to prevent a range of infectious diseases including:
- hepatitis A and B
- diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough
- measles, mumps and rubella
- bacterial meningitis
Through our consumer healthcare business, we market a range of consumer health products based on scientific innovation. We have leading positions in four main categories:
- Oral care
- Total wellness
- Skin health
In these areas we have a number of well known brands including Sensodyne, Panadol and Horlicks.
Our mission and strategy
Our business is focused around the delivery of three strategic priorities which aim to increase growth, reduce risk and improve our long-term financial performance. These priorities are: grow a diversified global business, deliver more products of value, and simplify the operating model.
Grow a diversified global business
Over the past five years we have created a more balanced business and product portfolio, capable of delivering sustainable sales growth. This is centred on our three business areas of Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare, which provide us with significant competitive advantages and opportunities for synergy. We have substantially increased our investment in higher-growth areas such as emerging markets and Japan and in our global Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare businesses. At the same time, we have re-shaped our US Pharmaceuticals and Vaccines business to reflect the changing market dynamics there and to prepare for the launch of multiple new products. In Europe, we are restructuring to improve efficiency and focus resources to growth opportunities in what continues to be a challenging market environment.
Deliver more products of value
We have changed our R&D organisation so that it is better able to sustain a pipeline of products that offer valuable improvements in treatment for patients and healthcare providers. We have increased the externalisation of our research, allowing us to access new areas of science and to share the risk of development with our partners. We have also changed our processes to make decisions earlier, so that only those medicines which are significantly differentiated from existing therapies are progressed. We have broken up the traditional hierarchical R&D business model and created smaller, more agile groups of scientists who are accountable for their projects. All of this has been underpinned with a focus on improving the rates of return in R&D and being more rigorous in how we allocate investment across Pharmaceuticals, Vaccines and Consumer Healthcare R&D.
Simplify the operating model
As our business continues to change shape, we are transforming how we operate so that we can reduce complexity and become more efficient. Over the past four years we have implemented a global restructuring programme designed to deliver significant savings to support investment in our priority growth businesses as well as offset pressures on the Group's margin resulting from changes in the shape and mix of our business. Savings from this programme have been generated across the business. As this programme comes to an end, we are continuing to examine ways to simplify our operating model and increase efficiencies. We have therefore begun a new, major change programme across manufacturing, R&D and Europe to deliver further savings. The new programme includes a series of technological advances and opportunities to eliminate complexities and improve our competitiveness further.
Prescription medicines and vaccines
For enquiries about our prescription medicines and vaccines, phone our UK Customer contact centre on: 0800 221 441. Lines are open from Monday-Friday 8am – 6pm. Outside these hours and on bank holidays, an answer phone service is available.
For enquiries about our oral care products like toothpaste or mouthwash or our over the counter brands like Panadol phone: 0800 783 8881.
For enquiries about our nutritional brands such as Lucozade or Ribena phone: 0800 096 3666.
Lines are open from 9am to 5pm.
UK corporate switchboard: +44 (0)20 8047 5000
UK Pharmaceuticals business: +44 (0)20 8990 9000