In an interview with CNBC, Chris Viehbacher, the CEO of Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY), discussed the steps that big pharma companies like Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) are taking to tackle chronic diseases that are a major cause of worry for the aging baby boomers who are heading towards retirement age.
Speaking on the growing problem of chronic disease among elderly, Viehbacher said that the chronic disease like Type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease are commonly seen among elderly and over 50% of people over the age of 60 have a chronic disease.
“There’s basically three ways I think we have to go about it. First is, I think we have to start earlier in life. We have to do a much better job in our health care systems of preventing chronic diseases, a lot of them. With some diet and exercise, you can avoid diseases in cardiovascular and diabetes. The second is, you know we have to yet make it a lot easier for people to take their medicines, and really get to better outcomes, and the third is clearly what we all in our industry see as our mission and that is to develop new medicines.”
According to Viehbacher, Pharma companies like Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) need to continue with innovation and even though some diseases like Alzheimer’s cannot be treated, it is essential that companies develop better medicines for those chronic diseases which can be treated.
Viehbacher also said that it is necessary for people to make changes to their modern lifestyles and adopt practices like being aware of one’s nutritional needs, physical activity needs, etc. The head of Sanofi SA (ADR) (NYSE:SNY) is a chairman of a CEO roundtable on cancer which engages employers to introduce preventive care in the workplace, and he feels that more such initiatives are the need of the hour.
Commenting on the future of medicines for chronic diseases, Viehbacher said:
“One of the interesting things we are seeing is some really interesting new medicines coming along in the whole industry really. I think ten years ago we all understood that we couldn’t bring me-too products to market anymore and so we all really invested in some disruptive innovation. I think you are going to see a number of new medicines coming along that have revolutionary levels of efficacy.”