Tom McKillop, Ph.D
ceo, astrazeneca, plc
Healthcare & Society: The Role of the Pharmaceutical Industry
Tom McKillop, the head of the Anglo-Swedish drug maker AstraZeneca Plc, the fourth-largest pharmaceutical company in the world, believes his industry can create drugs that will dramatically reduce the chronic pain and suffering of older people with degenerative diseases. Unlike some other major pharmaceutical companies, AstraZeneca does not have AIDS drugs and other medicines critically needed by poorer nations but has recently opened a Waltham, MA research center focused on finding drugs to treat infectious diseases and cancer. AstraZeneca has committed $15 million to develop drugs in India to treat tuberculosis.
"I want people to die healthy - they'll pop off with an acute episode of something" rather than endure a lengthy illness, McKillop told Boston College's Chief Executives' Club audience. While his "die healthy" remark drew some chuckles, his overall message was serious . Pharmaceutical company innovations can help people live longer, more productive lives, and provide critically needed medicines to benefit the poor in underdeveloped countries.
Story ran in the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald on Thursday, May 10, 2001.