Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Pfizer lags in EIRIS ranking

July 2005

Two newly released research briefings on how companies are managing their responsibilities in respect of public health clearly illustrate the sector-specific nature of non-financial risk.

One Ethical Investment Research Services study reviews how effectively pharmaceutical companies are responding to the Aids crisis, which kills 8000 people daily.

The other, which considers European mobile phone companies' response to health concerns over radio frequency radiation, says current scientific evidence 'does not suggest mobile phones represent a general health threat'.

However, the Eiris briefing notes: 'Health risks, whether actual or merely perceived', could increase subscriber churn, attract product liability lawsuits and make it harder to site masts. Of 18 companies, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone alone had 'good' strategies, public information systems and procedures for talking to interested parties.

Among drug companies, Pfizer, the biggest, had the worst rating along with Wyeth. GSK and Merck were rated as 'good' at taking responsibility for access to medicines, disclosing preferential pricing offers, supporting tiered pricing and voluntary licensing to generic manufacturers.

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