Elena Mills on Neglected Diseases and the Future of Health

Episode 09

In this episode of Trail Blazers, Johnny engages in a compelling conversation with Elena Mills, co-founder of The Salve, a majority women-owned medical affairs agency and B-Corp.

Johnny and Elena delve into her personal journey since founding The Salve, highlighting the transformative power of becoming a B-Corp for startups. They explore how this framework enables businesses to allocate time to pro-bono work, a practice that Elena and her partner deeply value. They discuss the significance of dedicating 10% of their time to pro-bono work and Elena talks about their aspirations for the future of their business.

The conversation extends to the pharmaceutical industry, emphasising the urgent need for greater investment in horizon scanning, particularly concerning neglected diseases and climate change. They identify potential opportunities for health businesses and organisations to enhance patient outcomes and effect change by leveraging their resources and talented individuals.

Staying close to that theme, Johnny and Elena address the critical issue of health inequality, attributing much of it to the neglect of certain diseases within poorer geographic populations. They explore the potential positive impacts of directing more resources toward addressing these neglected diseases, both for affected individuals and the global community.

Representation emerges as another key theme as they discuss the lack of data from women in clinical trials. They explore strategies to address this data skew and highlight the potential benefits, both in terms of research advancement and business success.

Throughout the episode, Elena offers insightful perspectives on the intersection of business, healthcare, and social responsibility. The discussion underscores the importance of proactive measures in addressing pressing global health challenges and advancing equity and inclusivity within the pharmaceutical industry.

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