Novartis contributions to PH economy, health care highlighted in PH-Switzerland business forum

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• In 2020, Novartis contributed PHP 7.6 billion to the Gross Domestic Product of the Philippines. The company’s business operations created a total of 9,183 local jobs, including the employment of 477 associates.

• The social impact of Novartis medicines is a proxy for measuring performance on the company’s purpose of improving and extending people’s lives.

Substantial contributions of Novartis to support the Philippine economy and improve health outcomes of Filipinos were highlighted during a recent online business forum.

“In 2020, Novartis contributed USD 158.6 million [PHP 7.6 billion] to the Gross Domestic Product of the Philippines. Fifteen percent of our total GDP contribution in the Philippines stems from innovation. Our business operations created a total of 9,183 local jobs, including the employment of 477 Novartis associates in the Philippines,” said Sonja Haut, head Strategic Measurement and Materiality, Novartis.

Haut was one of the resource speakers in a breakout session on investing in life sciences and digital healthcare transformation during the webinar entitled, “Philippines and Switzerland: Investing Together for a Better Future,” held last June 16.

The webinar was organized by the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, Board of Investments, Philippines-Swiss Business Council, and the Swiss Embassy in Manila in coordination with Switzerland Global Enterprise and Swiss-Asian Chamber of Commerce.

It delved into the ways the Philippines and Switzerland complement each other in key economic sectors such as Cleantech and Renewable Energy, Infrastructure Development, and Life Science Innovations.

The two countries have long-standing and good relations characterized by robust political dialogue, a dynamic trade relationship, and humanitarian aid missions during natural disasters.

The two countries’ increasingly important business partnership is further supported by a Joint Economic Commission and the Philippines-European Free Trade Association (PH-EFTA) Free Trade Agreement.

“The social impact of medicines is a proxy for measuring performance on our company’s purpose. By reimagining medicines, our products create social and economic value to society as we help improve and extend people’s lives,” Haut explained.

In 2020, the full Novartis portfolio of medicines reached 2.2 million Filipino patients–800,000 across 62 Novartis innovative medicine brands and a further 1.4 million across hundreds of Sandoz products.

Sandoz is the generics arm of Novartis. Filipino patients who took Novartis medicines gained a total of 10,526 quality-adjusted life-year (QALYs).

QALY is a generic measure of disease burden, including both the quality and the quantity of life lived. It is used in economic evaluation to assess the value of medical interventions. One QALY equates to one year in perfect health.

The Novartis commitment to the country’s socioeconomic development is reflected in the company’s latest Social, Environmental and Economic (SEE) impact valuation.

The SEE is the Novartis approach to measuring the social and environmental impact its business activities have on society, in addition to its economic value.  

“Measuring the Health Economy serves as a starting point for a new, objective dialogue between politicians, associations, and companies. It is an evidence-based monitoring tool to support decision making of economic and health policymakers. It provides comparability with other important sectors of the economy and enables Macroeconomic Impact assessment of future health policy decisions,” said Prof. Dr. Dennis Ostwald, CEO, WifOR Institute.

“The Philippines is one of the biggest and fastest growing offshore locations for healthcare payer outsourcing. The country has a large pool of medical professionals, including US-licensed nurses. It has growing capabilities in high-value services, such as clinical research, analytics and life sciences,” said Jeff Williams, chairman, Board of Trustees, Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines (HIMAP).

Diana Cortesi presented the reasons why the city of Basel in Switzerland is a great business location. “The Basel Area is home to over 700 life sciences companies, and five universities that are ranked among the top 25 in human biological sciences in continental Europe are located near Basel. The region provides access to Switzerland’s largest and most diverse talent pool that work in startups to big multinationals. The Basel Area has a multilingual and international workforce, including well-trained professionals throughout the whole value chain,” said Cortesi, manager, Project Support International Markets, Basel Area Business & Innovation.

“Telehealth can help improve access to healthcare services in the country. It will be vital in achieving integrated local health systems in the context of Universal Health Care,” said Dr. Raymond Francis R. Sarmiento, director, National Telehealth Center, University of the Philippines-Manila, National Institutes of Health.


Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 750 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 105 000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at

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