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Social Responsibility and Stakeholders of Pharmaceutical Companies

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Conduct online research on pharmaceutical companies and answer the following questions:

1. What social responsibilities do pharmaceutical companies have that differs from other types of companies?
2. Who are the primary stakeholders a pharmaceutical company has and how do you think they are prioritized?
3. Do you think pharmaceutical companies are justified in charging such high prices for certain medications or do you believe their high overhead cost (research, employing people, and advertising) justifies what the charge?

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The websites researched were:
Glaxo-Smith Kline at http://www.gsk.com/
Merck at http://www.merck.com/
Johnson & Johnson at http://www.jnj.com/connect/about-jnj/company-structure/pharmaceutical-companies/

1. I researched the three pharmaceutical companies listed, and all three companies devoted at least one full website page to discussing their responsibilities from both a social and ethical standpoint. The companies discussed their role as leaders, and what that means from a social point of view.

I would also agree that the social responsibilities for the companies differ greatly from that of other organizations. I think that the drug industries have a primary role in providing assistance to both developing and struggling countries around the world. I believe that the pharmaceutical companies should be providing medicines to communities that are so overrun by disease, that the normal, ordinary acts of life in the community as a whole are ...

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The solution answers questions on the social responsibility and stakeholders of pharmaceutical companies in 590 with support from 4 sources referenced.

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It is my belief that pharmaceutical companies are not justified in charging such high prices for certain medications. There should be a form of leniency in a pharmaceutical companies pricing strategy. Consequently, these companies are taking advantage of the general population that requires medications due to adverse circumstances. Many patients are barely making ends meet and are forced with the decision of what is more important "food" or "prescription drugs?" It appears that in today's society, good health has been issued a very expensive price tag. I often witness patients with severe medical conditions, needing a plethora of medications, and are unable to purchase those medications due to the astronomical charges associated with purchasing the medicines they need. Prescription drug costs tend to vary according to the prescription drug coverage applied or lack thereof, prices ranging from $50-$150 with insurance and $200-$500 without insurance. Should patients suffer the consequences of the pharmaceutical companies integrated high-overhead cost? Or should patients' preventative measures of survival be predicated upon their ability to pay for a corporate executives' salary? Nevertheless a patient's journey of survival is continuous.

Pharmaceutical companies' social responsibilities that may differ from other companies include assisting the public with medicinal needs. These organizations have an obligation to improve medical conditions by introducing new medication to patients globally; build awareness of disease prevention, diagnosis, treatments available and health care alternatives; and to work towards continuous improvement efforts (Pfizer, 2010).

The primary stakeholders for pharmaceutical companies may include:
? Employees
? Communities
? Shareholders
? Investors
? Government
? Suppliers

"Pfizer for example, has two stakeholder specific engagement policies: Pfizer's Global Policy on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and Pfizer Principles for Working in Partnership with Patient Advocacy Groups. Both identify the key principles that should underpin engagement with health care professional and Patient advocacy groups respectively (Pfizer Inc., 2007). Neither policy however is of a high quality. While they both make a commitment to being open about how engagement with stakeholders affects decisions, they do not identify when stakeholders can expect to be engaged in company decision making, or provide assurance that pharmaceutical companies will change policy as a result of engagement" (Pfizer Inc., 2007).

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