“Making Health Happen”
By applying situational leadership to the urgent and mutating circumstances of the pandemic, Se Whan Chon led PT AstraZeneca to take the leadership position in the fight against Covid-19.
“When I first took the position in 2020, not many believed that AstraZeneca could be the Number One MNC pharmaceutical company in Indonesia,” says President Director of PT AstraZeneca Se Whan Chon, quoting IQVIA’s Market Data 2022 announcement.
At the time of his arrival from Korea, PT AstraZeneca was positioned at Number Four.
“As a leader, it was important for me to consistently instil the vision of AstraZeneca being Number One and to back it up with action,” he mentions of the time when he had to provide guidance for the leadership team to make difficult and strategic decisions based on the right thing to do for the organisation and for Indonesian patients.
Leadership in Fighting the Covid-19 Pandemic
AstraZeneca is a global science-led biopharmaceutical company that delivers life-changing, patient-focused medicines through R&D, innovation, manufacturing and commercial functions. The company focuses on oncology, biopharmaceuticals, rare diseases and vaccines.
“One of our major achievements is the development and launch of AZD2221 vaccines, which played a critical role in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. These vaccines were rigorously researched and tested to ensure their safety and efficacy.
“As a result of our initiative, we became the most widely used vaccine in the world. In Indonesia, AstraZeneca successfully supported the country in achieving national herd immunity and ensured access to AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines free of charge. Under the leadership of the Indonesian Ministry of Health, AstraZeneca distributed 107.4 million doses of vaccines and helped prevent 93, 954 deaths in Indonesia (KPMG),” he says.
Not only that, Se Whan Chon reveals that AstraZeneca also remained at the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, with independent analysis showing that their vaccine, Vaxzevria, saved more than six million lives in its first year.
“Our long-acting antibody combination, Evusheld, continues to play an important role in helping to protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19.”
Significant Health Contributions
Apart from their Covid-19 successes, AstraZeneca has also been achieving many other medical breakthroughs. For instance, “Our LABA asthma medications have revolutionised asthma management by providing patients with effective long-lasting relief from asthma symptoms,” he points out.
Other significant contributions include their Young Health Programme where over nine million youths in 39 countries were reached with information about non-communicable disease risk behaviours; their 10 Fingers Campaign on raising awareness about ovarian cancer; Lung Ambition Alliance; Vaccine Confidence and Immunocompromised.
In 2017, AstraZeneca forged partnerships with the Ministry of Health Indonesia to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Various activities and preventive actions were launched. The partnership was extended and expanded to support Indonesia’s Health System Transformation agenda through AstraZeneca’s health promotions, disease prevention, management and control of non-communicable diseases, technology and digitalisation.
Sustainability and Social Responsibility
In terms of CSR, AstraZeneca is tackling the world’s biggest challenges, not just with regard to healthcare and disease prevention but also on climate change.
In their flagship CSR action, AstraZeneca joined forces with the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment Affairs and NGO partners − One Tree Planted and Trees4Trees − in the AZ Forest programme in 2020. Since then, over four million trees have been planted on 21,000 hectares of land in the province of West Java, Indonesia, bringing positive impact to approximately 20,000 farming families across 240 villages.
Se Whan Chon explains: “Our AZ Forest programme is part of our work to address climate change, together with our Ambition Zero Carbon strategy. We recognise the strong connection between a healthy planet and healthy people, and we work to foster environments in which all life can thrive. Trees are a nature-based solution to remove CO2 and are essential to mitigate the effects of climate change.”