GSK targets supply chain human-rights abuse
ProcurementLeaders.com - Apr 13th 2012, 09:32
Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) yesterday revealed plans to clamp down on human rights abuse in its supply chain.
Providing an update on its corporate responsibility commitments, the company said that it “strives to conduct business” with third-party suppliers which are committed to high ethical standards and operate in a responsible and ethical manner.
“Human rights clauses are included in all supplier contracts and covered by our third party code of conduct available online. These include but are not limited to forced labour, child exploitation, slavery, workplace conditions, non discrimination, wages, benefits and working hours,” GSK said in a statement.
“We consider human rights issues during routine interactions with critical suppliers. Environmental, health and safety audits of potential new and existing critical suppliers also include questions that help us identify potential breaches of our human rights clauses.”
GSK added that suppliers are asked for information on policies and practices relating to criteria including age limits for employees, discrimination against employees, prevention of abuse of individuals and wages, benefits and working hours.
“We will not knowingly use suppliers who are responsible for human-rights infringements. Where we identify human rights issues we make recommendations for how the supplier can improve performance and will follow-up where there are any significant gaps,” GSK added.
The pharmaceutical company also unveiled measures to boost the efficiency of its supply chains in developing countries. It explained its developing countries and market access (DCMA) operating unit has been set up to increase patient access to GSK medicines and vaccines. According to the company, country managers for GSK’s businesses in developing countries report into this unit, enabling an integrated approach to increasing access to drugs.
“The unit is also working with GSK country managers in other developing countries to increase access through flexible pricing and other approaches. The DCMA unit aims to increase the availability of GSK medicines by broadening our portfolio to make it more relevant to the people in those countries, pricing it to increase access and unlock demand, contributing to education and awareness, and expanding our distribution and supply chain capability,” the company said in its latest corporate responsibility report.
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