On average, we can expect to live 35 years longer than we did in the 1900s and roughly half of that increase can be attributed to pharmaceutical intervention.

Ranked by Fortune as the top pharmaceutical company in their list of the ‘World’s Most Admired Companies’ — and having made the list for the past 30 years — Janssen has distinguished itself as a leader in the pharmaceutical industry and a company that is providing solutions to some of the most serious and complex health issues confronting people belonging to communities all over the world.

Targeting its talent and resources to the areas it believes it can make the greatest difference, Janssen is focused on the areas of oncology, neuroscience, immunology, infectious diseases and vaccines, as well as cardiovascular and metabolism, collaborating with researchers, governments, healthcare professionals, and patient organisations at each stage, from early discovery, to market access, through to patient education.

Janssen is part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, which invests around US$4.5 billion in research and development each year as one of the ten largest global pharmaceutical companies. The Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) arm of Janssen is a major player in its own right, with activities spanning over 100 countries and investments of more than €1.5 billion into research and development annually.

Jane Griffiths, Company Group Chairman EMEA, told The CEO Magazine about what makes Janssen stand out from its competition and why doing good and making a profit need not be contradictory concepts.

Jane Griffiths on the diversity of Janssen employees driving results

“I was the first female company chair here and women’s leadership is an important topic for me. The recent McKenzie report talked about the amount of talent in the world that is untapped due to women not being in the workforce, or being lost in the workforce. So you can imagine that diversity of gender is a high priority for me, not just because I think more women should be working at higher levels in our company, but because I do believe that by having more diversity you get better results.”

How success can present its own challenges

Jane says, “We have a very healthy pipeline of new medicines that will be launched going forward. The challenge for us is to make sure that we have got the right capacity, the right skills, the right sales forces, and the right medical people to make sure we make a success of all of that. It’s a nice challenge to have, nevertheless. You have to be operationally very good to make sure we make the best of all of the influences.”

How businesses can do what’s good for the world, while doing good business

“Janssen makes a big difference to people’s health, but it is also a for-profit business and it is possible to do both; to do good and run a successful business,” says Jane.

“We also pay attention to the needs of poorer countries that are less able to pay and obviously do not have well developed healthcare systems. Being a mission-led organisation, we set up a global public health group a year or two ago which is designed to focus on neglected tropical diseases and to make sure that we are looking for cures for those as well as for some of the diseases affecting markets where there is more ability to pay.

We’ve had a big involvement in the Ebola issue and developed a vaccine that is in trials at the moment. Another thing we have done recently is to research and launch the first new drug for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) in 40 years and that’s now available in the market. There is not a huge amount of demand for that in developed markets but you can imagine in Africa and South Africa, particularly multi-drug resistant TB is quite a problem and our medicine is offering real benefits to patients who have a got a real need and who really didn’t have anything else.


Janssen EMEA key facts