Putting people before profits

I spent 35 years working for some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Australia. I was always passionate about providing patients with as much  information as possible to ensure they were fully informed of their disease or condition, and the medications they were using.

I saw the significant profits that the pharmaceutical industry was making and thought these would be better redirected to help patients.

For many years, I envisaged an organisation that gave 100 per cent of profits from the sale of its medications back to the community.

After a career in management, operations and finance, my friend John had retired around the same time as me. Together, we decided we wanted to use our skills to make a difference to people’s lives.

We wanted to develop a model where a patient in treatment could actually have a say and help others who shared their diagnosis, and those who would be diagnosed in the future.

Four years ago, we set up For Benefit Medicines (FBM), with the aim of distributing all profits from the sale of our medicines to help patient support and medical research in Australia.

My wife Linda had recently had a breast cancer scare, and John and I had friends and family members who had received a breast cancer diagnosis. This motivated us to kick-start FBM with breast cancer drugs.

FBM distributes two breast cancer drugs – Anastrozole FBM and Letrozole FBM. Fifty per cent of all profits from the sale of these two drugs is donated to BCNA.

The remaining 50 per cent is donated to Breast Cancer Trials to fund research into breast cancer treatments and a cure.

Last November, I was thrilled to present BCNA with our first donation of $20,000.

We hope to expand our catalogue of FBM generic medications to other diseases and conditions, including prostate cancer, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, depression, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Barry, NSW

For Benefits Medicines co-founder Barry


Issue 81
Summer 2017