Pharma companies among world’s most ethical businesses

Medicines Australia has welcomed release of the latest international ethical reputation ranking, which includes two of its member companies in the world’s top ten.

The Geneva based Covalence corporate ethical reputation ranking for 2006 includes Medicines Australia member companies GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol Myers Squibb as eighth and ninth respectively in the list of the world’s ten most ethical businesses.

“Medicines Australia congratulates GlaxoSmithKline and Bristol Myers Squibb on gaining such significant international recognition. This is indicative of the pharmaceutical industry as a whole and reflects the value and contribution of the industry to society,” Medicines Australia Chief Executive, Ian Chalmers said.

“The Covalence ranking underscores the importance the pharmaceutical industry places on ethical dealings with government, the health sector and the community. In Australia, the innovative pharmaceutical industry invests half a billion dollars annually on research and development and employs thousands of scientists and researchers, both here and overseas. This effort results in new medicines which provide life changing benefits to the public.

“Society increasingly expects that companies give something back to the communities in which they operate. The Covalence report provides welcome recognition of the pharmaceutical industry’s commitment to this ethical and corporate social responsibility expectation,” Mr Chalmers said.

Covalence closely monitors 10 sectors, encompassing 202 leading global companies. Companies are classified according to 45 criteria of business contribution to human development, including labour standards, waste management, product social utility and human rights policy. In summarising its report, Covalence says it provides: ‘a barometer of how multinationals are perceived in the ethical field’.


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