Really? Then what's this all about then?...
......Glaxo Testing Paxil on 7-Year-Olds Despite Suicide Risks
From The Telegraph…
Business has the power to do immense good
Business leaders – and shareholders – need to be thoughtful about the kind of organisations they are trying to build over the long term
For business, behaving responsibly doesn’t compromise commercial success, it enables it.
Responsible Business Week offers a moment to reflect on the role that business plays in society – here in the UK and around the world.
Collectively, the private sector has the power to do immense good, using its innovation, resources and reach to create prosperity, provide employment and deliver goods and services people want and need.
But businesses across different sectors, including my own, haven’t always got it right. In particular, we need to do a better job of being more transparent in our operations, and listening to and understanding society’s expectations of us.
It is important to remember that, ultimately, businesses are made up of the many millions of people who work for them and who each have the potential to do good for the communities they are part of. It is the combined efforts of all these employees which, among other things, produce the dividends and taxes which pay for our pensions and the public services that the country depends on.
So what needs to change for business to fulfil its potential? Business leaders – and shareholders – need to be thoughtful about the kind of organisations they are trying to build over the long term, ensuring they deliver their core products and services for customers, while at the same time being creative about how they use the expertise at their disposal to deliver broader benefits for society.
At GSK, the organisation I lead, we have a particular responsibility to use our scientific expertise and our global reach to develop innovative medicines and deliver them to people who need them around the world.
We’ve been taking steps over the past six years to ensure we are responding to the needs of patients and meeting the wider expectations of society. This has seen us shake up accepted truths on intellectual property, becoming much more open to sharing our data, knowledge and resources with researchers outside GSK to help stimulate more research into neglected diseases.
We have adopted a flexible approach to pricing to make our medicines more affordable to people in the world’s poorest countries and we recycle a fifth of any profits we make in those countries back into strengthening health care infrastructure.
We’ve formed unusual partnerships with groups such as Save the Children, through which we aim to help save the lives of a million children in five years, and with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop the first vaccine against malaria. We’ve also taken steps to share much more clinical trial data about our medicines, whether positive or negative.
These are not bolt-on activities or philanthropic gestures but are examples of how we are rethinking our business model from top to bottom.
Most recently, we’ve taken steps fundamentally to reform how we sell and market our products to health care professionals. We are beginning a two-year process to phase out and eventually stop payments to doctors to speak on our behalf about our products, and to stop providing direct financial support to attend conferences. We’ve done this because we want to avoid any perception of conflict of interest.
At the same time, we are implementing a new compensation system for our salespeople. Instead of individual sales targets, people will be evaluated and rewarded for their technical knowledge, the quality of the service they deliver to support improved patient care and the overall performance of our business.
We have been successfully piloting a similar programme in the US over the past two years, which has coincided with an improved performance of this business and our best overall period of delivering returns to shareholders – compelling evidence that performance and responsibility do go hand in hand.
Embedding changes such as these in a large organisation like GSK with 100,000 employees in over 100 countries around the world is not easy. One of the hardest but most important actions business can take is to instil the right culture, have robust compliance systems and processes to help employees understand that “how” you do things can be as important as “what” you do.
We also need to foster an environment which ensures that when things go wrong, as they occasionally will – as we have recently seen with allegations in China – we are able to self-reflect and take action to fix problems and address any inappropriate behaviour.
Some of the countries we operate in are particularly challenging, given the issues they face with funding and maturity of their respective health care systems. But, if the result of our presence is improved access to medicines and broader health care for patients, it seems a challenge worth taking on.
Alongside culture, we need a long-term mindset. This can be a challenge in today’s world, with the cycle of quarter by quarter reporting, but is essential as we think about how to meet the needs of the predicted 9bn people worldwide by 2030.
The transformation of Africa into a successful growth region is one such area that we need to focus on. There is a great opportunity for business to play a role, alongside governments and other agencies, to help deliver improved infrastructure in Africa and create prosperity to lift people out of poverty for good.
We are thoughtful about the kind of modern, relevant business we want to build specifically for Africa. Tomorrow, I’ll set out plans to move further on our agenda to help more people in Africa access health care and contribute to development. This will see us make new R&D and manufacturing investments that will create jobs, build capacity and support sustainable growth.
If done correctly, I believe this will be a powerful illustration of how business can spur commercial success and support social change. In this way, we can deliver a strong business performance and do good, improving the lives of people all over the world.
Sir Andrew Witty will be speaking at a CEO reception hosted by Telegraph Media Group to launch Responsible Business Week, a campaign run by Business in the Community to help business tackle the world’s most pressing issues
I'll just leave these here (for balance)