Business Ethics

Society has high expectations of healthcare companies to behave ethically. Often these expectations go beyond what is legally required of us, to include how we interact with our employees, suppliers and business partners – in other words, everything from responsible sourcing through to how we market our products and therapies. We are constantly working to ensure our standards are in line with these expectations. 

Our commitment is to adhere to the highest standards of ethical behaviour in the marketplace. We have a comprehensive set of policies, standards and practices that bind us to this commitment. The core responsibility for Business Ethics lies with the Global Ethics Office. Our Global Ethics and Privacy Officer reports directly to the Ethics and Compliance Board Committee and Group General Counsel, and is supported by three direct reports to oversee, train and manage a wide range of issues such as the Ethics E-Learning programme and the Ferring Alert-line. In addition to this, the Global Ethics Office relies on a network of Ethics Coordinators around the globe who, in addition to their regular jobs, act as local ethics ambassadors.

See more of our Business Ethics Activities.

Our Progress

Internal audit of Business Ethics – Since February 2016, we are now auditing our ethics policies and procedures. As a result, a number of initiatives were launched, including a uniform AlertLine investigator guideline now assigned to all investigators dealing with AlertLine cases.

Risk clarity survey – This survey gathers information about our company culture and reviews our performance and progress on our own standards. The feedback we get from this survey is used as a basis to better focus our approach and address concerns raised. Last year’s survey of over 4,000 employees showed consistent degrees of confidence in our overall approach, and a marked increase from previous years. On average, 65% of employees expressed a ‘most favourable’ score, up from 58% in 2013 and 53.8% in 2011.

Improvement in risk clarity survey ratings – Our “Do the Right Thing” E-learning programme was updated in 2016 and migrated to Cornerstone, a platform that Ferring is deploying globally which also allows the Ethics Office to track completion rates per entity. This programme is currently available in 22 languages. The US launched a specific ethics initiative in 2016 and this is now a part of the mandatory onboarding curriculum for new employees.

Examples of Our Initiatives

Employee training on ethics – We own the Business Ethics Training Responsibilities Standard Operating Procedure, update it regularly and make sure that all people managers receive and understand it. In addition to this, the Global Ethics Office conducts live Ferring Philosophy workshop sessions for both new employees and employees who might need a refresher. In 2016, we conducted training sessions for approximately 100 employees at IPC (Denmark) and 2 sessions for 30 colleagues at our offices in Serbia and Slovakia. Ferring Philosophy workshops are also conducted on a regular basis in St-Prex (FICSA) and other local entities, by facilitators trained by the Global Ethics Office.

US Ethics Week – In November 2015 Ferring US celebrated its inaugural Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week with a series of events designed to help colleagues get to know the Compliance and Ethics team and to build awareness around key topics on business ethics. The Ferring Research Institute Inc (FRI) in San Diego and the US headquarters in Parsippany hosted a range of events with information booths, games, quizzes and prizes for employees.

Ferring AlertLine – This important safeguard gives employees and third parties, a means of expressing their concerns in the event that they are unable or unwilling to resolve issues with local management. Externally run, this service now operates in over 180 different languages around the world and provides an option to report anonymously, where regulations permit.

Awareness posters – Drawing on the Ferring Philosophy, we have created a number of posters for colleagues around the world to hang in their offices, in their own languages where necessary. This initiative was well received, and ensures that the values of the Ferring Philosophy are now even more visible in the business.