Health security

We’re uniting science, technology and talent to get ahead of health security threats.

Field of flowers in front of cooling towers

Health security is defined as the actions needed to prevent and respond to acute threats that could endanger people’s health across countries and borders.

There are many factors that can jeopardise our health security – from new and emerging infectious diseases to the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Climate change and nature loss also pose a risk as they weaken the natural ecosystems on which our health depends. Increased global travel, political instability and fragile health systems can all exacerbate these threats.

As a global company innovating to prevent and mitigate infectious disease, strengthening health security is core to our purpose. Protecting people and health systems from infectious disease threats helps to safeguard lives and livelihoods, as well as support our business model. So, we are using our scientific know-how and collaborating with others to help the world better prepare for future health challenges such as disease outbreaks with pandemic potential and AMR.

Preparing for future disease outbreaks with pandemic potential

The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined how infectious disease outbreaks can devastate people’s lives, destroy their livelihoods and overwhelm health systems. But it has also shown that effort and partnership across industry, academia, government and civil society can generate a rapid, innovative response.

Our response to COVID-19

Having actively contributed to the COVID-19 response through developing therapies and vaccines, we are looking to how we strengthen prevention and reaction to pandemics of the future. The risk of pandemics is increasing, with more than five new infectious diseases emerging in humans each year. We can help protect people from the consequences of pandemic threats by building capacity to respond to global emergencies into our regular operations, without disrupting the development and supply of other medicines and vaccines.

As well as focusing on our own innovation and operations, we are also working with governments and other stakeholders to bolster future pandemic responses. For example, we joined G7 and industry leaders to devise a roadmap outlining how diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines could be developed and deployed in just 100 days, following a new pandemic threat.

Our policy position on Pandemic preparedness (PDF, 300.2KB)

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Getting Ahead Together on antimicrobial resistance

The World Health Organization recognises AMR as one of the top ten threats to global public health. In 2019, bacterial AMR claimed around 1.3 million lives. By preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics, and preventing infection in the first place, we can reduce risks from infectious disease and help protect patients during surgery, childbirth and other health interventions.

Building on our history in antibiotic development, we have a number of research projects targeting priority pathogens deemed “critical” and “urgent” by the WHO and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes potential therapies as well as several projects investigating AMR-relevant vaccines, which are an important tool for preventing and reducing resistance.

We believe working with other stakeholders such as industry and government is integral to getting ahead of AMR, so we helped found the AMR Industry Alliance and are partners and investors in the AMR Action Fund.

Our policy position on AMR (PDF, 196.2KB)

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Leading the AMR Benchmark

The Access to Medicine Foundation releases an annual AMR Benchmark, comparing how life sciences companies are contributing to bringing AMR under control. It tracks industry progress on R&D, responsible manufacturing, appropriate access and stewardship. GSK has been an industry leader of the Benchmark since it was first published in 2018. In the most recent Benchmark report in 2021, we were recognised for the diversity and depth of our R&D pipeline, including our AMR-relevant vaccine research.

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