We are all susceptible to catching infectious diseases which can cause serious illness, disability and even death. In the 20 seconds it takes to read these words, 11 people would have died of an infectious disease.
Medical developments have vastly enhanced our chances of survival and prevention. Less than 50 years ago smallpox still had a devastating effect, and polio was one of the most feared infectious diseases. A global vaccination initiative organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has eradicated smallpox, and polio should be eliminated soon.
GSK Biologicals delivers over 20 doses of vaccines every second to prevent potentially life-threatening illnesses like Hepatitis A and B, polio, whooping cough, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, measles, typhoid, varicella and mumps.
The company is one of the primary suppliers of vaccines to international health organisations including the WHO, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO). It is also one of the main donors of vaccines along with two other major polio vaccine manufacturers. They have donated 100 million doses of polio vaccine to the poorest African nations from 1997 to 1999.
With close to four million children dying annually from preventable diseases like measles, Hepatitis B and rubella, GSK Biologicals is strongly committed to furthering its research and pursuing its belief that prevention is always better than cure.
How does a vaccine work?
Vaccines stimulate the development of immunity against infectious diseases. Many vaccines are produced by growing bacteria or viruses under conditions that lead to a loss of virulence while not affecting their antigenic nature, e.g. polio or measles vaccines.
Sometimes they consist of specially treated toxins (e.g. Tetanus, diphtheria) or killed bacteria or viruses that are still antigenic (e.g. Whooping cough, flu). Other vaccines are made of well defined antigenic particles from viruses or bacteria, obtained by highly selective purification or sophisticated recombinant DNA technology (e.g. ‘acellular’ whooping cough or hepatitis B vaccines).
Treatment with anti-virals can suppress the symptoms of disease but cannot eliminate the virus itself and cure the disease. Antibiotics fight bacterial infections that cause disease, but antibiotic resistance is increasing and this has contributed towards the re-emergence of diseases once thought to be under control, such as tuberculosis.
This brings us back to our commitment of managing infectious diseases through prevention and aim of making your life healthier.Back to top
GSK takes consumer healthcare very seriously and understands precisely what the consumer wants and needs. With nearly US$5 billion in sales and over ten US$100 million brands found worldwide, GSK is a dominant player in the market bringing over-the-counter (OTC) medication, oral healthcare and nutritional healthcare to millions of people.