Today I spoke at the Thirteenth Annual Pharmaceutical Regulatory and Compliance Congress in Washington, DC. I'm really grateful for the opportunity to share my views on how those of us in the pharmaceutical industry conduct--or should conduct--our business.
When I was invited to speak there, I tried to imagine how a group of compliance officers would view my participation. Why is she addressing a compliance conference? Her company just reached a 3 billion dollar settlement with the US Government. Maybe she should be attending, but not speaking!
That's precisely why I jumped at the chance. Trust is the currency of our industry. I've seen firsthand what happens when our motives are questioned and that trust is broken. I also know personally the good work that our industry does. Patients, doctors, and caregivers depend on us to improve their health and wellbeing.
I've worked in this industry for more than 25 years. My reason for giving the speech was not to point fingers, but to hold up a mirror to our industry. And in holding up that mirror, I see that some of the ways we've operated, as an industry, have evolved over time and perhaps gotten us to a place where we probably never consciously planned to end up.
I had three key points:
- At GSK, we conduct our business in a way that not only complies with laws and regulations, but also in a way that reflects what society rightfully expects. I believe we must instill a values-based culture within our organizations. Values that ground our every decision and every action.
- A fine is NOT a cost of doing business. The idea that fines and government settlements don't matter to pharmaceutical companies is just wrong. It is a big deal. We get it.
- Every single person in our industry must be accountable for serving our customers and patients in a way that reflects a core set of values.For those of us who lead organizations, that means communicating, demonstrating, and investing to foster that accountability. The result should be that values and compliance are integrated into both the culture and processes of our businesses.
I hope that I gave those in attendance a sense of how we're working to "walk the talk" at GSK. I hope that, by holding up a mirror, I showed why a values-based approach to compliance is important for our industry, and why I support the government's efforts to make sure that everyone in our business is committed to doing the right things for the right reasons.
Finally, I asked my friends and colleagues across the pharmaceutical industry redouble our efforts to communicate, demonstrate, and invest to make sure that we take personal responsibility for doing the right thing for those who count on us. With that kind of commitment, we will continue to help people live healthier, happier, longer lives.
You can read the full transcript here.