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Organizational Ethics: Reestablishing Trust in the Pharmaceutical Industry

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The pharmaceutical companies play a crucial role when it comes to health and safety and the sector is not immune to ethical challenges. Therefore, it is necessary and is a need of an hour to attain highest ethical standards. Organizations like EthicsIndia are pivotal in this endeavour, offering frameworks and support to ensure that companies adhere to ethical guidelines.

In a recent turn of events, a promoter and managing director of a big pharma company were called up by the Supreme Court of India to provide an explanation about their wilful disobedience of the court order. On several occasions, the top court had cautioned the company and its director over its marketing conduct and standards. In some instances, the court went ahead to pass an order regarding the disparaging and misleading claims published by the company on various platforms. The Company marketed their products as being very effective against the virus without any robust scientific evidence. This incident and long-drawn legal battle caused financial and reputational loss to the company. Previously, pharma companies have been called out on multiple occasions for disguising and concealing their data to help their profits. 

 

In another case, we have seen a highly marketed Covid vaccine now under scrutiny for its side effects. The vaccine was manufactured by one of the big pharmaceutical companies and was produced in India. The vaccine was used to administer to a large number of the Indian population and was also outsourced. In recent news, the manufacturer admitted the fact that the vaccine could cause Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS). TTS has been categorized to cause abnormally low platelet counts and leads to formation of blood clots. Many victims filed lawsuits against the manufacturer owing to its side effects. This case has highlighted the importance of the pharma companies as their responsibility to share information with the actual and potential side effects relating to their drugs in a timely efficient manner. Full and accurate information is necessary to make informed choices while receiving medications. 

Why Ethical Culture?

 

Maintaining the best ethical standards ensures that the priority is given to the well-being and safety rather than profit earning. Ethical standards are not only to be followed in the marketing aspect but should be followed in all functions of an organization. These standards also push for transparent communication channels which are essential for safety. 

Pharma companies have to comply with legal and regulatory requirements which is a non-negotiable factor. But integrating self-regulatory ethical practices and transparency builds public confidence. From an individual viewpoint, prioritizing ethical practices builds employee morale and helps to retain talent that makes them thrive within the organization. Ethical behaviour also helps in maintaining trust and reputation which is very important for Pharma companies to maintain credibility. 

EthicsIndia offers specialized training programs such as the Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional Course (CEPC). This program equips pharmaceutical professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to uphold high ethical standards and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. By participating in CEPC training, companies can foster an ethical culture that prioritizes patient well-being, transparency, and integrity.

Leading towards ethical excellence

The first step towards ethical excellence is to understand the stakeholder’s expectations and concerns. This helps an organization to align their policies with the best practices and ethical standards. Apart from aligning the policies and understanding the needs and concerns it is important for the leadership to reiterate their commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards. This also helps to set a zero tolerance tone for unethical activities. Furthermore, it is necessary to conduct regular training and awareness programs to educate employees on ethical conduct and formulate a framework where unethical practices can be reported effectively without any retaliation. Organizations like EthicsIndia provide crucial support in this area, offering guidelines, training, and resources to help companies implement and maintain high ethical standards.

How can EthicsIndia help?

 

Pharmaceutical companies have an immense impact on our healthcare system. It is their responsibility towards society to integrate an ethical culture prioritizing patient well-being, transparency and integrity. 

By collaborating with organizations like EthicsIndia, pharma companies can build a happier, healthier, and more ethical future

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