I will work half-time at the LIF Office during 2012

It has now been announced that I will work half-time at the LIF Office (the Association for the Research Based Pharmaceutical Industry in Sweden) from Dec 1, 2011, until Nov 30, 2012. See the announcement from LIF below:

”New to LIF’s Office by December 1: Bengt Mattson

Working half time, in charge of CSR, parts of the national pharmaceutical strategy and committee responsible for the LIF Environmental Committee

The LIF Office further strengthens its resources and tries a new form of operating by borrowing colleagues from the member companies. First up is Bengt Mattson, who is head of CSR and Environmental Affairs at Pfizer, and chairman of LIF’s Committee on Environmental issues. Bengt will work half-time at LIF during the period December 1, 2011 to November 30, 2012 and part-time at Pfizer. Bengt will be the project manager for LIF’s work on part of the National Pharmaceutical Strategy (to ”Encourage voluntary control of discharges from pharmaceutical factories”) and he will also have overall responsibility for CSR issues at the LIF Office. Bengt will also be the LIF Office responsible person for LIF’s Environmental Committee and hence leave the function as Chairman during this period.”

I think this will be very interesting. I will as you see in the announcement work on e.g. environmental issues related to the National Pharmaceutical Strategy and also on CSR matters in general. Regarding the environmental issues and the national pharmaceutical strategy, you already know parts of the work which needs to be done if you have followed my blog over the recent months. There are four activities identified within the scope of intervention area number 7 ”Reduce effects on the environment by pharmaceuticals, locally and globally”:

7.1. Investigate if the environmental aspects should be considered when decisions on subsidy for a pharmaceutical are decided (Lead: Ministry of Health and Social Affairs): Review of possibilities to – within the context of the national reimbursement system – increasingly take environmental considerations.

7.2. Encourage voluntary control of emissions from pharmaceutical factories (Lead: LIF): Introduction of a voluntary environmental labeling of pharmaceutical products.

7.3. Investigate what further measures can be taken at national level to reduce wastage of medicines or in other ways limit the environmental impact of use of pharmaceuticals (Lead: Läkemedelsverket): Investigation of the causes of wastage and propose measures to reduce wastage of medicines. Implementation of joint information efforts to encourage patients to return leftover medicines.

7.4. Promote the possibilities for environment considerations during production and use of medicines (Lead: Cabinet Office): The Government on June 9, 2011 took the decision (M 2010:04) to give the All Party Committee on Environmental Objectives the additional task of developing a strategy for Sweden’s work in the EU as well as internationally for a non-toxic environment. The strategy should also encompass the impact of pharmaceuticals on the environment.

As you probably understand I will be the project manager for the work related to point 7.2. This project will of course require very close connections to the work described in point 7.1, which to most people is known as ”the Sofia Wallström review”. To be successful with point 7.2, it will be crucial that Sofia W comes to the conclusion that environmental considerations should be taken within the framework of the pricing and reimbursement system. Read more about green economic incentives and the pricing and reimbursement system in my blog post from Sept 28.

As you could read in the LIF announcement I will also have an overall responsibility for CSR issues at the LIF Office. The aim will be to develop a CSR platform for the industry association. And actually, a lot of its ingredients are already in place. Important parts of the CSR platform are initiatives such as:

- The ethical rules, with agreements for all collaborations with health care professionals and patient advocacy groups, and a very strong self regulation system with the LIF Compliance Officer, NBL and IGM

- The LIF Policies, e.g. on the use of animals in research and development

- Patient Safety initiatives

- Fass.se, with factual information on pharmaceutical products to health care professionals as well as the public (including the world unique collection of environmental data for pharmaceutical substances)

- The environmental programs

- The Swedish Drug Insurance Scheme

- The initiatives related to the fight against counterfeited pharmaceuticals, including 2D-coding

- Financing of the healthcare system and pharmaceuticals, including ”our welfare in the future” and ”the healthcare of tomorrow

- Prevention and health promotion initiatives, such as the ones I have discussed here at the blog previously

- Equal healthcare and access to medicines and adequate healthcare

- The pharmaceutical industry and the developing world, with several good examples as the ones I described here at the blog in October last year (e.g. Oct 24, Oct 21, Oct 20, and Oct 19).

To me this looks very promising. We are doing the right things, but sometimes it seems like we are not able to communicate successfully… I would like our stakeholders to know about the initiatives, and to interactively debate the initiatives with us. I personally of course also believe that we deserve a better reputation than what have been found in several surveys over the years. See for instance the results from the Swedish survey Sustainable Brands, where the pharmaceutical industry was ranked very poorly 2011 (see my comments to the report via this link). But perhaps things have slowly starting to change, at least in certain countries. I was very happy when I read the ”Sustainability Leadership Report” from Brandlogic and CRD Analytics. In this survey, virtually all pharmaceutical companies measured are rated Leaders, both when it comes to actual ESG performance (Environmental, Social, Governance) and to perception. The countries covered in the survey were China, Germany, India, Japan, UK, and US. This does look promising! Could a more clear and visible CSR platform help the pharmaceutical industry in Sweden to receive a better recognition and reputation? I hope so, and I hope I can contribute to such a journey through my work at LIF during 2012!

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