Lundbeck awarded for ethical leadership in the pharmaceutical industry

Posted: 29 March 2012 | | No comments yet

Lundbeck is becoming the first recipient of a new award for ethical leadership in the pharmaceutical industry…

H. Lundbeck A/S Logo 60x60

Lundbeck is today becoming the first recipient of a new award for ethical leadership in the pharmaceutical industry. The award is given in recognition of the steps taken by Lundbeck to prevent the misuse of its medicines in relation to capital punishment in the USA.

In January 2011, H. Lundbeck A/S (Lundbeck) became aware that a number of US prisons had started using pentobarbital — medicine developed for the treatment of severe epileptic seizures and was marketed by Lundbeck in the US – in relation to capital punishment.

Lundbeck adamantly opposed this distressing misuse of its medicine and informed prison authorities, governors and public authorities about the misuse and requested this to be stopped. In addition, Lundbeck consulted with NGOs, public authorities and external experts to identify possibilities to prevent the misuse. As a consequence, in June 2011 Lundbeck set up a new distribution program that ensured that hospitals and treatment centres could continue to have access to the product for medical purposes, while at the same time limiting the potential for misuse by denying distribution of the product to prisons in U.S. states currently active in carrying out the death penalty by lethal injection.

It is for these combined efforts that Lundbeck is now being honoured with an award for ethical leadership in the pharmaceutical industry by legal action charity, Reprieve.

Strong action from Lundbeck

“Lundbeck’s action has changed the landscape of corporate social responsibility in the pharmaceutical industry. Many pharmaceutical companies lament the use of their medicines in executions — Lundbeck did not just lament it, they took active steps to prevent it. In short, they were true to the values of their profession, and the award is testament to their efforts”, says Reprieve Investigator, Maya Foa.

By receiving the award, Lundbeck will also become the first company to sign a new pharmaceutical Hippocratic Oath, pledging its commitment to medical ethics and corporate social responsibility.

Ulf Wiinberg, Lundbeck’s Chief Executive Officer says of the award: “We are proud to receive this award in recognition of our efforts to prevent our medicine from being misused. It is a testament to our continuous and successful efforts to act responsibly and recognition of the complexity of the issue and the difficulties facing a company trying to prevent misuse of its products.”

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