Category: Biopharmaceutical

BusinessMirror (Philippines): Pharmaceutical executive underscores importance of ethical trade practice

Unethical practices increase the cost of doing business and adversely affects business operations of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with the biopharmaceutical industry posing no exception, said Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) Ethics Committee head and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation ethics adviser Francisco Tranquilino.

“The Apec focused on business ethics because unethical behavior affects individual businesses is that it increases the cost of doing business because of bribes and penalties; lowers the sales growth and productivity; limits the ability to enter new markets, and, over the long term, undermines a company’s financial growth,” Tranquilino said, explaining the broad initiative launched by Apec in a forum on Tuesday.

The past initiative centered on business ethics specifically for Apec SMEs in recognition of their contribution to economic growth given the proper enabling “ethical” business environment. This expansive Apec program isolated different sectors with a high number of SMEs, which included the biopharmaceutical sector.

The “Business Ethics for Apec SMEs” initiative was launched in 2011, the concrete result of which is the crafting and adaption of a voluntary code of ethics, of which Tranquilino was part as a member of the expert working group focusing on the biopharmaceutical sector. The result of the said initiative is the promulgation of the voluntary code of ethics, dubbed “The Mexico City Principles,” that PHAP has been practicing since 2011.

In 2013 the same code was adopted by the Department of Health’s Food and Drug Administration through a circular and, according to FDA representative Cynthia C. Diza, who clarified that sanctions such as withdrawal of permit to operate may be slapped on pharmaceutical companies found of violating the adapted principles.

The code of ethics, Tranquilino explained, is aimed at allowing companies to compete in the region at a reduced cost and in the sector of medical device and biopharmaceutical products, facilitates ongoing innovation on a wider economic purview, the basis of the SME initiative is hinged on World Bank data that countries with a higher perceived corruption tend to have lower per capita GDP, Tranquilino said.

Unethical behavior, in general, hurts economies through decreased GDP, currency depreciation and undermined health systems, Tranquilino, a physician, said. 

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