Pharmaceutical companies and ethics

Industry[ edit ] The pharmaceutical industry is a highly competitive business and its success is dependent on the sales and marketing of each drug. In the research and development expenditure for the biopharmaceutical industry within Europe and the US was 15, million euro.

Pharmaceutical companies and ethics

Ethics in the Pharmaceutical sector At the first GoodCorporation debate on ethics in the pharmaceutical sector the issues of compliance, corporate values and industry standards were widely discussed.

The Pharmaceutical companies and ethics was introduced with a thought provoking analysis by Paul Woods of the main ethical concerns for the industry. Paul opened with his belief that Pharma is now at a key point with important decisions to be made about commercial governance.

Some leading industry leaders are stressing the importance Pharmaceutical companies and ethics compliance. This involved going beyond laws and regulations, establishing new approaches to stakeholder interactions and of building new relationships built on trust and shared values.

One company has stopped worldwide sponsorship of HCPs to attend international congresses, which has stimulated a debate on whether this is a brave, forward-looking move or something on which industry consensus, a collective industry position, should have been sought. Paul set out his own position that the future for business practices could be primarily driven by values rather than laws.

Laws, regulations and ever stricter compliance rules have been useful but more rules are likely to achieve little more.

Pharmaceutical companies and ethics

In fact it can be argued that the law is beginning to get in the way of doing the right thing, inhibiting an ethical path forward.

Values, set out in internal and external Codes of Practice, but more importantly embedded in company culture could and should define future business activities.

An important part of this new position is that pharmaceutical companies genuinely act as responsible partners in healthcare, which many industry leaders are talking about. Paul took the US as an example of a heavily rules-based environment.

Marketing practice is dominated by legal action, which reach the courts often years after the alleged transgressions. Paul believed that that the reason for breaches occurring is not a lack of clarity or knowledge of rules, nor punishments being an insufficient deterrent.

It is much more often a misunderstanding of what behaviour is expected and as a result someone making the wrong judgement. Laws and the courts would sit very much on the reserves bench.

At company level, training should be values based, led by the ethics leaders not lawyers. The industry should also work with health professionals worldwide to get them to accept joint responsibility for the industry.

In particular, the industry should accept that the mega-medical congresses funded by Pharma money have to disappear within a few years. The discussion opened with a show of hands which revealed that a narrow majority was in favour of sector-wide development of Codes of Conduct rather than individual development of ethical actions by firms.

Those supporting group action suggested that industry-wide codes kept the bar high for the benefit of the sector as a whole and ensured that behaviour is consistent across the industry.

Some of the best ethical practices in the US, it was felt, have resulted from legal action that has had a direct and positive influence on industry codes of conduct.

It was also argued that if companies act unilaterally, there could be a temptation to use behavioural decisions as a marketing strategy that can then be reversed in tougher economic times, therefore lowering the standards of ethical conduct.

That said, it was noted that many current industry codes of practice pre-date legislation; one of the reasons for the implementation of codes was to enable companies to keep an eye on each other.

But experience teaches that codes and legislation cannot stop all forms of bad behaviour. Where to set the bar was also discussed at some length.

Some felt that industry codes needed to be high and challenging, not the lowest common denominator. But others felt that if the bar were too high, it would give big pharma, with substantial resources for compliance, a competitive advantage over small pharma.

Those opposing the notion of an industry-wide approach to codes and standards felt strongly that it should be the prerogative of individual companies to use good behaviour to distinguish themselves from their rivals in a highly competitive market.

They also argued that this approach would drive standards higher. Guidelines can be interpreted differently by different organisations, sometimes allowing less ethical organisations to find an alternative way of doing what the standard had set out to prevent.

Looking at the UK market, it was felt that here the industry code of practice was strong.

Pharmaceutical companies and ethics

However, this in turn raises the problem of exporting codes of conduct across international boundaries. In certain parts of the world it was felt that there was a need for more legislation to support industry codes.

Where the debate converged was over the issue of values. It was stated that all laws come from values-based principles, that shared values should be the basis from which codes of conduct and indeed legislation should be derived.Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars annually to research, develop, and market drugs.

According to the Pew Charitable Trust, the pharmaceutical industry spent over $27 billion on marketing alone in , with $24 . Operating costs for pharmaceutical companies are extremely high especially: funding research and development, fighting legal battles, and distributing through insurers.

However, the creation of new treatments for diseases is a public good, so governments tend to . In and , the number one ethical issue facing pharmaceutical companies operating in America is drug pricing. As consumers of pharmaceutical products, Americans are dismayed by the rising prices of drugs that appear to be rising at rates disproportionate to inflation or actual costs to manufacture the drug.

The Pharmaceutical Industry, Institutional Corruption, and Public Health Professor Marc Rodwin ’s project grows out of his previous two books on physicians’ conflicts of interest.

1 One source of these conflicts of interest is physicians’ financial relationship to pharmaceutical firms. 10 The Ethics of Pharmaceutical Industry Influence in Medicine Itay Shuv- Ami, M.D., LL.B is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist in Israel.

The former acting director of the emergency room at the Brull Tel Aviv. That’s why, out of concern doctors were being swayed by the elaborate pitches and the perks that pharmaceutical companies offered, several organizations took a hard look at sales practices and developed a new code of ethics and stricter guidelines to govern pharmaceutical sales.

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