Top Pharmaceuticals in Canada and Their Support to Charity

The innovative and profitable pharmaceutical industry in Canada is composed of brand-name drug companies and generic drug companies. Both segments produce prescription and non-prescription drugs. The Pharmaceutical sales in Canada is though two percent of the world market, however, Canada still ranks as the 8th largest world market in sales.

The eight percent annual growth makes Canada the 4th fastest growing market, after China, Mexico and Spain (IMS Health, 2005). The top ten companies accounts for almost 60 percent of total pharmaceutical sales while the top 5 companies accounted for nearly 40 percent of total sales in Canada. Pfizer Canada dominates 13.4 percent of Canadian drug sales followed by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson with around 6.5 percent share each. The Canadian generic market is in the hands of Canadian owned Apotex, and Israeli company Novopharm with a total market share of over 8 percent.

Following a brief profile of the top Pharmaceutical Companies in Canada, the grants and their support strategies are provided in a concise manner.

Pfizer Canada Inc.

Pfizer Canada has an extensive Community Investment Program, which supported more than 1000 non-profit organizations and projects across Canada for a total amount exceeding $17 million.

Funding Guidelines: In general, Pfizer Canada supports:

Health and science education programs
Disease awareness initiatives
Scientific and academic community
Projects that could have a potential impact on reducing healthcare costs
Programs that could be a potential model for other provinces and/or countries
Activities that could have a significant impact on a large number of Canadians
As a general rule, Pfizer does not support:

Arts & cultural programs, except those related to health education
Capital, building and endowment campaigns
Individual attendance at conferences, seminars and similar activities
Organizations already supported through United Way or West Island Community Shares contributions.
Organizations that practice discrimination on the basis of race, creed, gender, age, sexual preference or national origin
Graduation galas or yearbooks (they also support national medical student bodies)
Sporting teams and events (Pfizer Canada focuses its sports-related support to the Canadian Paralympic Team.
Religious activities
Request for support:

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson and its many operating companies support community-based programs that improve health and well-being. Together with their partners, they are helping mothers and infants survive childbirth. Even supporting doctors, nurses and local leaders as they work to provide the best medical care to their people. Also, they are educating communities on how to reduce their risk of infection from preventable diseases. Johnson & Johnson concentrate on following areas:

Support to local voluntary health groups, arts associations, service or civic organizations and many other types of non-profit organizations.
Support programs for women and children who struggle to survive in places with limited health care, education or social support.
Building on the skills of people who serve community health needs, primarily through education.
Preventing diseases like HIV/AIDS and diabetes aimed at reducing stigma and disability in underserved communities where they have a high potential for impact.
Support website:

GlaxoSmithKline Inc.

Established in Canada in 1989, The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for Canadians. They are committed to finding creative ways to achieve community wellness. The Foundation supports and works with many organizations, primarily in the areas of health care and health promotion, science education, hospice palliative care, and patient advocacy.

Focus of Giving:

The Foundation supports registered Canadian charities in the following areas:

Health care and health promotion (diabetes, respiratory, HIV, mental health and cancer),
Science education (programs for elementary and secondary school aged youth),
Hospice palliative care (to facilitate a Canadian network striving for policy change and improvement in hospice palliative care services, support and access to quality end-of-life care), and
Local community projects (support local charitable organizations that focus on community health and social service projects in the areas of health care and health promotion, science education, hospice palliative care and HIV/AIDS to help ensure our communities are healthy, dynamic and caring places).
Foundation Grant Requests:

They accept applications at any time from any registered Canadian charity. Applications are reviewed by the GlaxoSmithKline Foundation’s Charitable Giving Team and applicants are notified, regardless of outcome, within 8 weeks after receipt. Sometime, due to the large volume of HIV/AIDS-related requests, applications are handled through a separate grant review process.

Online Grant Application form website:

Eligibility Criteria:

The Foundation provides grants to registered Canadian charities whose projects/activities meet the following criteria:

Are compatible with the focus of The Foundation,
Are national or provincial in scope, or primarily serve the communities of Mississauga, Oakville, Ontario and Saint-Laurent, Quebec,
Have direct, significant and sustained benefit for Canadians,
Are pro-active and sustainable,
Have a demonstrated plan to ensure future funding sustainability,
Are in the planning or implementation stage.
Please note The Foundation does not support funding requests for:

individual scholarships/sponsorships
privately funded educational institutions
service clubs; fraternal, political or religious organizations
capital campaigns; research and development
feasibility studies; charity golf tournaments
conferences or congresses (exception: national/provincial hospice palliative care conferences)
Additional Information:

If you have questions about the Grant Request Application process, please contact The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation office at +1 (905) 819-3275.

Apotex Inc.

Apotex provides financial support for a wide variety of professional programs and research initiatives on both, national and regional levels. As major community contributions are to the United Way; even recognized as the #1 Pharmaceutical Company in Canada for total corporate donations, as it is one of the few companies in the country to raise over $1 million. Their website can be accessed at

Wyeth Canada (now part of Pfizer)

Wyeth is currently funding in the following clinical areas:

Arthritis & Pain Management
Cardiovascular/Metabolic; Endocrinology; Genetic Metabolic Disorders
Infectious Disease (Bacterial, Fungal, Pneumococcal Disease Prevention)
Neurology; Dementia; Depression; Diabetic Neuropathy
Multiple Sclerosis
Pulmonary Hypertension; Respiratory; Rheumatology; Transplantation; Urology and Women’s Health
Grant form website:

Should you require assistance, please email or call 1-866-MEG-4647 (international callers use 1-212-209-8997).

Other Request Types:

Medical Education Grants: Grants for independent professional education activities and interventions including a single activity in a regularly scheduled series. To apply for these grants, please visit the Pfizer Medical Education Grants website.
Special Events: Pfizer provides limited support for certain special events which include, but are not limited to, fundraising dinners, walks, biking and golf events, galas, awards ceremonies and other similar events that do not provide Pfizer with a tangible benefit. To apply for support for special events, please visit the Pfizer Special Events website.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

In the developing world, it extended free leprosy and tuberculosis treatment and offered antimalarial drug Coartem without profit through multilateral institutions and public-private partnerships. It supports the vision of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to create a future without breast cancer.


It support programs that help patients better manage their health, promote a healthier lifestyle in general, generate awareness of important health topics and address the health needs of children.

Sanofi-aventis give priority to not-for-profit activities that fall within one of the following key therapeutic areas: cardiology, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic disorders and internal medicine. Sanofi-aventis also supports research that seeks to improve standards of health care in Canada.

Requests for Support:

Organisations can use the on-line form when requesting financial support from sanofi-aventis Canada. They encourage you to begin by reading the selection criteria to find out if your project is eligible.

Request for support form:

Selection Criteria:

Sanofi-aventis receives hundreds of requests for assistance each year. In an effort to ensure fair treatment of all requests, they have established the following selection criteria for the donations program.

Only submissions from not-for-profit, registered organizations will be accepted.
Priority will be given to projects that that help patients better manage their illnesses, promote a healthier lifestyle in general, generate awareness of important health topics and address the health needs of children. They also give priority to activities that fall within one of their key therapeutic areas: cardiology, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic disorders and internal medicine.
The goals of the event, project or organization being considered must be in line with our corporate values and, ultimately, generate a sense of pride and ownership among our employees.
Eligible organizations may be asked to provide a receipt for tax purposes.
Sanofi-Aventis do not consider requests for political contributions, as well as requests submitted by political or religious organizations, or requests submitted by an individual.
Donation of Medicines:

Sanofi-aventis responds to requests for its products exclusively through Health Partners International of Canada (HPIC), a charitable medical relief organization that distributes donated Canadian medicines, medical supplies and vaccines to the needy around the world. They do not donate medications directly to individuals or groups other than HPIC.

Merck Frosst

The philanthropic outreach of Merck Frosst is guided by three strategic priorities: advance scientific knowledge and education, improve health care for Canadians, and support communities. Following steps are followed in requesting support:

Due to the volume of donation and sponsorship requests, only on-line requests are accepted. This enables them to review and evaluate all requests in a timely fashion.
Read their Corporate Philanthropy Policy to determine if your organization or project falls into their focus area.
Review also their exclusionary criteria as request will be declined if it falls into one of these criteria.
If information is ready, the application form should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete. They emphasized that they will not respond to mail, fax or telephone requests.
Request are answered within 45 days of reception of final approved application.
Website for grant request:

Organizations not Supported for Grant:

In accordance with Merck Frosst Corporate Philanthropy Policy, funding will not be made to support the following types of organizations:

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