Mission Critical: Aligning Pharma Brands with CSR

white pill

Pharma companies are especially active when it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR). According to The Foundation Center’s “Key Facts on Corporate Foundations” Report, the pharmaceutical industry held the second largest share of corporate foundation giving (at 15.2%) in 2009, surpassed only by the banking and financing industry (at 21.6%).

Many of the sector’s leading players provide patient assistance programs, medical access initiatives and health-related education grants to communities in need. In fact, Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck and Allergan—four of the top pharma brands according to Fortune—have all been recognized for their CSR efforts, appearing on Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s annual list of “100 Best Corporate Citizens.”

There is an incredible opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to leverage the goodwill created by these CSR activities to build stronger corporate culture. As examined in our whitepaper, “The Halo Effect,” when the connection between CSR activities and a company’s core business is close—as is the case with pharma companies and their philanthropic missions—it’s entirely appropriate to link the two. Doing this will actually increase visibility for the social cause.

So, are pharma companies doing enough to showcase their goodwill and build awareness for their social causes?

Achieving the right relationship between a company’s brand and its corporate philanthropy or employee volunteerism is a delicate balancing act, but it’s well worth the effort. When a company is associated with social responsibility— and its initiatives don’t come across as self-serving— it can truly be recognized as doing well by doing good.

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