Another chance to renew the social contract

Editor’s Commmentary: Redefining the purpose of a corporation is an opening for biopharmas to turn around their poor public standing

The Business Roundtable, a club of CEOs of many of the largest U.S. corporations, has given biopharma companies a new impetus for telling the public how they plan to live up to their social commitments.

Industry leaders should seize the opportunity.

In 2017, BioCentury’s Back to School essay on the social contract called on companies to stop taking unjustified price increases, adopt pricing policies that ensure patient access, and end practices that delay or prevent generic and biosimilar competition. With little progress since then, and arguably some regress, that remains a good place to start.

Instead of being celebrated for treating and defeating diseases that only a few years ago seemed untouchable, drug companies are viewed by the public as embodiments of corporate greed.

In a Gallup survey of American opinion released in September, the pharmaceutical industry was the most poorly regarded of 25 industries.

The Roundtable’s new Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation provides biopharma companies a foothold

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