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Social Business

Global Health Institute, an innovative operating model

The Global Health Institute of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, operates on the principles of a social business and adopts the shared value concept which combines focus on both societal and economic progress. Indeed, the Institute aims at addressing key global health issues faced by vulnerable populations in developing economies with a major focus on children and women suffering from infectious diseases. By building a portfolio of innovative solutions for supporting control to reach elimination, the Institute intends not only to improve health but also to create social value.

Embracing the concept of Shared Value, the Institute also addresses health challenges and social needs while targeting to access new economies or serving existing markets through innovative or adapted products and services.


The Institute is not only an R&D engine harvesting from its Company’s pharma & technology know-how; it also develops innovative approaches to ensure access and affordability of its products. This is created through innovative mechanisms including various public and private partnerships allowing the development, production and distribution of the products.

The Institute’s social objective is also achieved by strengthening health systems of endemic countries to build sustainable ecosystems. This is managed via educational programs for healthcare providers as well as through disease awareness campaigns conducted with local stakeholders. This approach enhances product uptake and ensures access and availability on the ground.

Affordability of the health solutions is paramount to a successful access. This requires not only to delink R&D investments from cost of production but also to adopt adequate pricing strategy, which is an integral part of the Institute’s business model.

Through the adoption of the Shared Value concept, the Institute is also acting as a knowledge hub and expert function contributing to the identification and design of new market opportunities across business units and regions of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.