Acura Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a pharmaceutical firm engaged in the development, research, and marketing of products that are concerned with addressing medication misuse and abuse. It also deals with utilizing Impede Technologies and Aversion, which is a combination of inactive ingredients embedded in pharmaceutical capsules and tablets. They are designed to deal with some regular methods of product meddling related with abuse (NASDAQ-ACUR, 2013).
Pharmaceuticals Codes of Conduct
Companies should comply with the U.S health care law. Bristol – Myers Squib Company and Takeda pharmaceutical companies observe the general code of conduct, which is widely accepted in the industry.
A compliant company operates within the laws, rules, and policies that regulate the pharmaceutical industry. All employees are supposed to be guided by the principles of the health care law. Companies’ compliance and ethics programs are supposed to advance these principles and provide support for their employees to perform their job responsibilities within the guidelines. The conduct of the industry concerning promotion and advertising must follow the rules and regulations. The code on this issue regards promotion of medicines for prescribing to both health professionals and administrative staff. The standards are set for the provision of information about medicines for prescription to the public and patients. This code ensures that promotional activities are conducted within a robust framework that ensures high quality patient care (Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, 2012). The other code relates to the interaction of industry employees and stakeholders. They are health professionals, customers, suppliers, and third parties. These interactions always focus on the communication of accurate, complete, and balanced product information and relevant scientific information. Both companies should ensure fair pricing is observed during the conduct of business with the government. Privacy is another crucial part of the code of conduct. The industry must ensure that patients’ privacy is protected. Patients’ health information is extraordinarily sensitive, and the industry has an obligation under the federal and state law to protect privacy of such information (Bristol - Myers Squib Company, 2009).
Some of these codes of practice are not suitable in a competitive business world. Pharmaceutical companies and other businesses operate to make profits. In fair pricing, some of the companies might not meet their operational costs and hence end up making losses. Similarly, the companies operating in different states face diverse operational challenges. Therefore, it would be unfair to suppose a uniform pricing was adopted across the industry. The codes of conduct regulating promotional activities in the industry determine the extent to which companies can increase their sales through promotional activities. This leads to minimum profits.
Ethical issues concerning the relationship between the industry and medical practitioners usually exhibit conflict of interest. Conflict of interest arises mostly in clinical decisions. They are determined from how a research is conducted. They ensure smooth operation of the pharmaceutical industry; therefore, their relationships should be transparent and open. Pharmaceutical ethics involving sales and promotional activities originate from organizational ethics as a matter of traditions, system agreement, and responsibility. Sales ethics in the industry have become of vital interest to the public. Ethical misdemeanors of outstanding companies in the industry have often been witnessed in their sales and marketing practices (Acura Pharmaceuticals Inc., 2013).
Code of Conduct
Employees of the company should avoid any activity or association that creates an impression of conflict between their interest and those of the company. They should also not receive gifts or favors that might appear to influence the exercise of judgment when working on behalf of the company. The employees of the company must fully comply with the existing rules and regulations governing the industry. All designated officers must report violation of this code of conduct to the relevant authority. Disciplinary actions will be taken by a relevant committee against any employee who violates rules, regulations, or even the code of conduct. The committee will make amendments to the code of conduct and publicly communicate them to employees and stakeholders. Moreover, the committee will design how waivers will work in case of violation of the code of conduct. The company will disclose understandable, full, fair, accurate, and timely reports to the relevant authorities. The employees of the company will always respect the rights of privacy of patients and other stakeholders.
The federal sentencing guidelines for organizations are used to impose penalties on organizations whose employees or agents commit federal crimes. The guidelines formulated above ensure that the code of conduct pertains to high-level personnel. They also ensure that a responsible, discrete authority is not given to people with a high propensity to engage in illegal conduct. Again, they ensure that standards and procedures are properly communicated to employees and other stakeholders. The organization takes reasonable care to achieve compliance with standards and procedures and that they are consistently applied in the organization. There is also a process to ensure no further perpetration of offences. Moreover, the code of conduct would help the company develop a plan to review and modify the compliance program.
Challenges in Code of Conduct Enforcement
Conflict among individual, organizational, and societal values is among the causes of challenges in the enforcement of the code of conduct. This conflict can be minimized through involvement of top management in an open debate. This would lead to a better understanding of the key roles played by each of the three.
Design of the code of conduct poses a challenge in the enforcement stage of the code. This is because it does not include informal cultural rules that have developed in the organization.
Enforcing a code brings out challenges by itself. The person given the responsibility of regulating or enforcing is the same person to be regulated. This is due to the self-regulating nature of the codes. Additionally, challenge is further magnified when the code does not clearly outline the sanctions for infractions. This increases the discretionary actions of the regulator. To minimize the challenges faced in the enforcement stage, employees and stakeholders should be involved in the continuous design and development of the code.
To ensure that a code of conduct remains relevant, the organization must properly communicate it to the clients and other stakeholders. It also ensures continued and relevant training for employees and other stakeholders. Creating adequate channels helps people voice their concerns and make programs that monitor and support the progress in the long run.
Codes of conduct increase the probability that people will behave in a certain way partially by focusing on the character of their actions and on the applicable sanctions because of violations. They also focus on actions that result from doing the right things. Right ethics give employees a chance to test their actions against expected standards. They also provide a strong reason for somebody to act in a certain way. Finally, they function as professional statements or practices, as effective codes exemplify fundamental principles and values of the organization.