Corporate Social Responsibility: What Went Wrong at Glaxosmithkline?

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Corporate Social Responsibility: What Went Wrong at GlaxoSmithKline?

When London-based GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) paid a $750 million dollar settlement as part of a plea agreement that required it’s Cidra, Puerto Rico subsidiary SB Pharmco to plead guilty for knowingly selling contaminated medicine, it laid to rest any doubts that its business practices were in direct conflict with its commitment to both quality and to creating a strong ethical culture. There are, nevertheless, important issues that extend beyond the facts in evidence. This paper does not seek to re-litigate the government’s case against GlaxoSmithKline. It, instead, seeks to accomplish three basic goals: to offer insights into the failure of the Food and Drug …show more content…

Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and others lobbied the FDA to crack down on the reimportation of drugs into the United States from Canada where prices for prescription drugs are a fraction of what they are sold for in the United States. The committee’s principal concern was affordability and reducing the size of the Federal government’s impending unfunded liability associated with the new entitlement. The FDA argued forcefully against reimportation on the grounds that quality and safety of reimported drugs could not be ascertained. In his April 2003 testimony before the subcommittee, William Hubbard, former FDA Senior Associate Commissioner, argued passionately against legislation that would allow reimportation of drugs from Canada because of safety concerns: “One of the best things that Congress ever did we believe was create the drug approval process that set up a process for drugs to be approved as safe and effective by the FDA and manufactured under very strict manufacturing controls with very stringent marketing controls and regulations by the states, physicians and pharmacies” (108th Congress 1st Sess., 2003, p. 16).
Yet the FDA did not detect and sanction GlaxoSmithKline for violations at its Cidra manufacturing plant. Mr. Hubbard’s assertion of strict manufacturing controls notwithstanding, reports issued by the Institute of Medicine, the Government

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