Benchmarking and Transparency: Incentives for the Pharmaceutical Industry's Corporate Social Responsibility [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 95 (4):641-658 (2010)
Abstract
With over 2 billion people lacking medicines for treatable diseases and 14 million people dying annually from infectious disease, there is undeniable need for increased access to medicines. There has been an increasing trend to benchmark the pharmaceutical industry on their corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance in access to medicines. Benchmarking creates a competitive inter-business environment and acts as incentive for improving CSR. This article investigates the corporate feedback discourses pharmaceutical companies make in response to criticisms from benchmarking reports. It determines whether these responses are part of a healthy process in increasing access to medicines or a barrier to improvement. A qualitative analysis on the feedback the industry provided was performed, and the responses seen in these statements were grouped by analysing the language used, the ideas portrayed and atti- tudes of the companies. Increasing transparency through benchmarking is a powerful tool which reveals the industry’s shortfalls to the public, affects the decisions of socially responsible investors, and is a risk to their financial bottom line. This article demonstrates the importance of benchmarking and transparency in creating inter-business competition and the translation of these responses to actual access to medicine practices
Keywords benchmarking  corporate social respon- sibility  pharmaceutical industry  socially responsible investing  transparency
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References found in this work BETA
Pepe Lee Chang (2006). Who's in the Business of Saving Lives? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (5):465 – 482.

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