Alright, alright, I know. But it's been a crazy few days. I intended to post a few things this week but time got away from me. I promise to be better about this. Managing GSK's blog in addition to my other responsibilities can be a challenge. Sometimes I handle it well, sometimes things fall through the cracks (I hope my boss isn't reading this).
I'm just glad that I am not in charge of GSK's pandemic preparedness program--because that is something that can't fall through the cracks. People's health--both our employees and our patients--is at stake. If a company is not prepared for the possibility of a flu pandemic, then employees may fall ill and call out sick, shutting down production lines and wreaking havoc on the business. If that business happens to be the development and manufacture of medicines--especially for the chronically ill--then the damage could be even worse. GSK has put a great deal of thought and effort into preparing for an outbreak, both as a company and as a critical partner of public health agencies around the world.
That is why a recent article in the Wall Street Journal should sound an alarm bell. Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum put the economic impact of an influenza pandemic at around $500 billion--prior to the recent influenza A (H1N1) outbreak.
The fallout from a pandemic could be swift--it is estimated that 15% to 30% of employees would stay home during such a pandemic due to illness, caring for family members, and fear of getting sick at work. "The result would be to cripple operations and disrupt global supply chains. As in the credit crisis, the fallout likely would spread rapidly because of how connected the world's economies are," the article stated.
Is your company preparing or procrastinating?