Stories and Viewpoints

World Health Day: Addressing Health Disparities Through Access, Leadership and Partnership

April 7, 2021

By Michael Goettler, Former CEO of Viatris


At Viatris, we are reimagining healthcare not as it is, but as it should be. Our bold mission is to empower people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life, regardless of geography or circumstance.  Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many disparities around the world in how people access healthcare, and we’ve seen firsthand how these differences can put those who are already vulnerable at even greater risk.


That is why the theme of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Health Day this year is especially meaningful for us at Viatris. The day’s theme is “Building a fairer, healthier world,” a belief that aligns perfectly with our vision of what healthcare should be. A variety of factors contribute to a person’s health, including access to clean water, food insecurity, the opportunity to earn a living wage and even having access to safe housing. But a person’s health should not be determined by how much money they have or where they live. As a leading global healthcare company, it ’is our responsibility to identify the barriers that are preventing people from accessing the healthcare they need and find innovative solutions to break down those barriers.


It is also something that we can’t do alone. Every role matters. It is by all of us working together, each contributing in our own ways, that we are able to get high-quality medicines to patients who need them, when they need them. And working together with our many valued partnerships and with our global reach, Viatris is uniquely positioned to help people in need across a variety of therapeutic areas and in every region of the world.


We detailed our reach at our inaugural Investor Day, and will be talking more about our impact on patients, our people, global public health, communities and the environment when we release our first sustainability report this year.


In the meantime, on this World Health Day and every day, we hope you will join us in our journey to empower people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life. We join WHO in the belief that we need to build a fairer, healthier world and know we have an important role to play in the lives of patients around the world.

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