Human Rights
Ethics & Transparency

Human rights are an important element of our company’s commitment to conducting our business in a responsible manner.

Respect for human rights is a fundamental part of our mission to discover, develop and provide innovative products and services that save and improve lives around the world. We believe in the dignity of every human being and recognize the international human rights principles embodied in the United Nations Global Compact and as defined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its subsequent changes; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights; the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; and the core labor standards set by the International Labor Organization.

We have translated our Business Partner Code of Conduct into 26 languages.

Our Belief & Approach

We believe in the dignity of every human being and in respecting individual rights. Our company has a number of global policies that address how we protect human rights, including our global Public Policy on Human Rights, our Human Resources Policy, our new Labor and Human Rights Policy (introduced in 2016) and our Code of Conduct, Our Values and Standards, which was revised in 2015. Our company’s Executive Committee is responsible for ensuring that governance processes are in place to provide oversight of the implementation and execution of these corporate policies.

Our Values and Standards outlines our responsibilities to our customers, our fellow employees, our suppliers, the communities where we live and work as well as those around the world that we serve, and our shareholders. These responsibilities represent the foundation of our company and what we stand for, and are the basis for our continued success. We seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights practices that are directly linked to our operations, products or services.

Our Commitment

Our commitment is formalized and manifested through the various policies highlighted above, including our Code of Conduct and our environmental governance and management systems. With respect to our internal operations, our policies and/or Code of Conduct state the following:

  • Labor Standards: We maintain labor standards, including hours, conditions, wages and overtime pay practices, that are in compliance with the laws of the jurisdictions in which we operate
  • Health & Safety: We provide a safe and healthy work environment in all of our operations, regardless of their size or function
  • Freedom of Association: We respect the right of employees to associate freely, and to form, join or not join a labor union. All employees can communicate openly with management and each other regarding working conditions.
  • Child Labor, Forced Labor & Human Trafficking: We prohibit the use of child, forced or involuntary labor, including bonded labor, prison labor, slave labor or indentured labor, and any form of human trafficking
  • Commercial Sex Acts: We recognize that the sex industry, even where lawful, can contribute to human trafficking and exploitation. We do not allow employees to engage in commercial sex acts.
  • Wages & Benefits: We compensate our employees in accordance with market practice in a manner that supports their ability to meet their basic needs. We also offer our employees the opportunity to improve their skills and capabilities.
  • Diversity & Equal Opportunities: We value diversity and strive to provide equal opportunities for all individuals
  • Privacy: We respect individual privacy expectations and protect personal information that we collect, use and disclose in connection with our business
  • Access to Health Care: We respect the right to good health for all people, and we are committed to leveraging our expertise to help remove the barriers that stand between patients and the health care they need
  • Communities: We respect the human rights of our neighbors in those areas where we have operations or facilities
  • Fair Treatment: We provide a safe and secure workplace that is free of harsh and inhumane treatment, including any sexual harassment, sexual abuse, corporal punishment, mental or physical coercion, or verbal abuse. We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on a person’s race, color, gender, age, religion, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, citizenship status, marital status, military/veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.
  • Compliance: We adhere to local laws. When local protection is insufficient or nonexistent, we observe the more demanding standards consistent with our policies to the extent that those standards do not violate local laws and regulations.

Engagement with Suppliers

We use our Business Partner Code of Conduct to communicate our expectations to suppliers and external partners. The Code, which has recently been updated, is based on our own Code of Conduct, as well as on the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative’s (PSCI’s) Pharmaceutical Industry Principles for Responsible Supply Chain Management and the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact.

We have translated our Business Partner Code of Conduct into 26 languages to help ensure that the content is widely understood.

Learn more about environmental, labor and human rights in the supply chain.