July 18th, 2014
Our Statement on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17
We are profoundly shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life from the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Ukraine.
Our grief is compounded by the news that many of the passengers on the flight were members of the HIV community traveling to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia. This includes many close friends and longtime partners of Johnson & Johnson, including visionary HIV researcher Dr. Joep Lange with whom I have personally worked with for more than 20 years.
In Joep we have truly lost a hero in the fight against HIV. An uncompromising champion for patients, in particular for women and children infected with HIV or at risk for HIV infection, Joep made a significant contribution to advancing the scientific field through his own work in developing new approaches to treatment and prevention. His leadership in supporting expanded access to treatment for those least able to afford it has saved countless lives all over the world.
We join the global HIV community in extending our sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to the families and friends of all those who lost their lives in this terrible disaster and, in particular, to our friends and fellow members of the HIV community.
Dr. Paul Stoffels is Chief Scientific Officer, and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson. In this role, he works with R&D leaders across Johnson & Johnson to set the enterprise-wide innovation agenda and is a member of the Johnson & Johnson Executive Committee. He began his career as a physician in Africa, focusing on HIV and tropical diseases research. Paul chairs the Johnson & Johnson R&D Management Committee and provides oversight to the Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) and the Johnson & Johnson innovation centers, with the goal of catalyzing innovative science and technology.