Twenty years of commitment from a humanitarian shareholder foundation unlike any other in France

On April 6, 1999, the Pierre Fabre Foundation became a government-recognized public-interest foundation. Its founder, Pierre Fabre (1926-2013), was driven by his determination to redress inequalities in terms of access to health care between the Global North and South. As the majority shareholder of the Pierre Fabre Group, exclusively devoted to its humanitarian mission in favor of the most underprivileged, the Pierre Fabre Foundation is unlike any other in France.

Twenty years on, Pierre Fabre’s undertaking is as relevant as ever, and is motivating his eponymous Foundation to extend its action in over 17 countries.

To mark this anniversary, the Pierre Fabre Foundation has decided to relive its history in a series of podcasts. The Foundation team, partners and experts take turns at the microphone to lead listeners through two decades of initiatives in the field, helping people in the Global South have better access to quality medicines and health care. From April to September 2019, six podcasts look back on the Foundation’s origins and its key areas of intervention.

In the first episode, a sound archive featuring Pierre Fabre sheds light on the origins of his commitment and what led him to create this Foundation two decades ago. Pierre-Yves Revol, Chairman of the Pierre Fabre Foundation, and Béatrice Garrette, Director General, explain what makes it unique in France and describes its specific area of intervention.

In 1995, counterfeit meningitis vaccines were administered to local populations in Niger during an epidemic of the disease. This was one of the most serious instances of counterfeit drug use, an episode that caused nearly 3,000 deaths Pierre Fabre was in Niger at this time and personally observed the ineffectiveness of these vaccines. The event drove his decision to devote his energies and resources to reducing the inequities between the Global North and South in access to health care and, more specifically, to combat the scourge of counterfeit medicines. 

Listen to the 1st episode