Many of us have heard of AstraZenca on television commercials but have not really paid too much attention. A few brand named medicines are Crestor, for cardiac issues, and Nexium, for gastrointestinal issues, Atenolol, Pulmicort, Seroquel, Symbicort, and Zestril. AstraZeneca is a global company that is regulated by every country it works in. Maintaining a high ethical platform for the company and the employees is vital to the continued success of AstraZeneca. Goals set by AstraZeneca AstraZeneca maintains a detailed Code of Conduct for the global organization it runs.
Employees are held to a high standard of training and are required to complete yearly re-training on the company’s code. New employees are required to complete training within 30 days of employment. This annual training reestablishes a connection with the company’s goals and their work ethic with the employees so that a common knowledge is understood. AstraZeneca has many goals they strive to achieve and without an understanding of these goals presented to the employees then the code of conduct would not be able to be upheld.
Research and Development Ethics AstraZeneca is constantly trying to develop new medicines. These medicines must be tested and researched before being put on the market for human use. National and international laws dictate how to record information and data collected and this is one of the goals set forth by AstraZeneca. In order to be in compliance AstraZeneca must follow guidelines for recording data and they must maintain transparency when reporting the collected information. Failure to do so results in fines, loss of funding and grants, and possibly being shut down.
Interactions with Health Care Professionals and Organizations In the past pharmaceutical companies were allowed to court Providers and organizations with elaborate gifts and special treatment in exchange for prescriptions of their specific medicine being written to patients. This practice was found to be unethical and was stopped by the federal government. As a result, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services created the Compliance Program Guidance for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers. This program set the guidelines for pharmaceutical companies to be able to approach providers to educate them about their products.
The OIG states it “is continuing in its efforts to promote voluntary compliance programs for the health care industry. This compliance guidance is intended to assist companies that develop, manufacture, market, and sell pharmaceutical drugs or biological products (pharmaceutical manufacturers) in developing and implementing internal controls and procedures that promote adherence to applicable statutes, regulations, and requirements of the federal health care programs1 and in evaluating and, as necessary, refining existing compliance programs” (Duke, 2003, p. ).
AstraZeneca has created a goal of adhering to the guidelines set forth by the OIG’s office. In AstraZeneca’s code of conduct, it states “We must not enter into business relationships or offer or provide gifts, hospitality or anything else of value, to induce or reward favourable decisions about our products and services. We must always provide information about our products to healthcare professionals and organisations in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Code and supporting policies” ("Code of Conduct," 2013, p. 0). AstraZeneca is making their own regulations for their employees to help them stay in compliance with federal laws.
Ethical principles Only two of AstraZeneca’s goals from their Code of Conduct have been discussed although there are many more outlined for the employees of AstraZeneca and for any consumer to read about since these are easily found on the AstraZeneca website. AstraZeneca wants all of their employees to ork and maintain Integrity, Honesty, Diligence, Fairness, and Caring in all of their activities. This elevates the employees to stop, think, and make a better decision when faced with ethical roadblocks. AstraZeneca has set high expectations for compliance by all employees when following their Code of Conduct and AstraZeneca expects their employee to be able to comply. Role and Importance
The role and importance of AstraZeneca’s ethical values is for all employees to be aware workplace activities and that they comply with the laws and regulations set forth by the country that they are working in. Maintaining high standards in the workplace by the employees is a goal to help AstraZeneca set themselves apart from other companies. This is of high importance to AstraZeneca to maintain its worldwide reputation and to avoid fines, lawsuits, and the possibility of closure in the country’s they are doing business in.