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    New social challenges as a result of changing trends

    There are numerous macro-trends that impact the health investment theme, causing key players in the industry to rethink their activities. A combination of demographic growth in developing countries and low public budgets allocated to health has complicated access to even the most basic forms of health care. The Millennium Development Goals highlight the importance of a partnership with the private sector to “provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries”.

    In developed countries, the ageing population has brought about new forms of disease, which often raises the question of caring for people suffering from loss of independence. Over-medication is also major problem in countries where health care systems are costly and unequally taken care of by the government.

    Promote access to health care for all with clever positioning in new markets

    The “Sustainable Health” investment theme primarily aims to support businesses which overcome the obstacles to promote an equitable access to health care products and services, in developing countries as well as developed countries. Beyond the charitable aspect (donations, revenue-based prices, etc.), the major challenge remains the creation and generalisation of perennial and independent health care systems, particularly in developing countries.

    The investment theme equally promotes skills-transfer, and supports for the creation of infrastructure and finance mechanism initiatives. Well positioned players in this sector could also attract new markets, whilst reinforcing their social acceptability.

    Improve quality of life and autonomy

    The ageing population and the increased number of dependent people have brought about the emergence of two increasingly important challenges for the key players in the investment theme:
    • Strengthen support for dependent people (due to their age, an illness or a handicap) in specialised establishments or at home.
    • Reduce suffering for people, with serious illnesses such as cancer, who have to undergo painful treatment and put up with nasty side effects.

    Innovation, a keystone in the development of sustainable health

    Numerous factors make R&D crucial for key players in the sector: the end of flagship medicine patents, the emergence of new pathologies, the increasing number of patients suffering from loss of independence yet aspire for a better quality of life, and the lack of competencies in certain areas.

    Innovation therefore constitutes the main lever of improvement, with the development of new molecules, and more targeted treatments, the focus on preventative solutions to reduce over-medication, the development of personalised treatments to improve patients’ quality of life, and the sharing of expertise to promote access to health care for all.



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    In addition to the identification of business models that respond to sustainable development challenges, an assessment of CSR practices is systematically carried out prior to stock selection (management systems analysis, investigation of controversy, etc.). This is done to confirm that the company is relevant to the investment theme and to ensure that the overall business operations are consistent with the sustainable development positioning of the company’s products and/or services.

    This analysis focuses on key issues in the pharmaceutical sector, for example: conduct of business (commercial practices, clinical tests, particularly in emerging countries), prevention of health risks, etc. Considering the fact that companies linked to the health sector naturally address issues related to this investment theme, the requirements in terms of CSR quality are particularly demanding. This double approach therefore better differentiates players and privileges the more proactive amongst them in terms of both adequacy to the theme and CSR quality.

    (1) OECD, “Private Health Insurance for the Poor in Developing Countries?”,  August 2005,
    (2) WHO, “Disability and Health”, June 2011,
    (3) World Data Bank,