Social Responsibility of Pharmaceutical Industries: Feasibility of CSR for Corporates
Smita Pandey1, Bindu Ronald2

1Smita Pandey, Symbiosis Law School, Pune, Symbiosis International Deemed University, Pune (Maharashtra), India.

2Dr. Prof. Bindu Ronald, Symbiosis Law School, Pune, Symbiosis International Deemed University, Pune (Maharashtra), India.

Manuscript received on 12 February 2020 | Revised Manuscript received on 28 February 2020 | Manuscript Published on 10 March 2020 | PP: 137-145 | Volume-9 Issue-4S March 2020 | Retrieval Number: D10250394S20/2020©BEIESP | DOI: 10.35940/ijitee.D1025.0394S20

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Abstract: International Human Rights Law regards certain rights as inherent to all human beings. These rights are granted to them regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. The responsibility of granting these rights to its citizens falls as an obligation on government. On the contrary, corporate have evolved on the basic premise of profit devoid of any human rights responsibility. It’s not erroneous to say that Human rights and corporate are incongruous nexus since the ages. The corporates are bound by certain moral obligations though. This moral responsibility of corporates towards society which is commonly termed as Corporate Social Responsibility (hereinafter CSR) is nothing new as a concept. The corporates world over have been taking refugee under this and shrugging their responsibility towards the society in the name of CSR as it was at their whims and fancy. In 2008, responding to the invitation by the Human Rights Council for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the issue of human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises to submit his views and recommendations for its consideration, Prof. John Ruggie, of Harvard University, presented a report as conceptual and policy framework to anchor the business and human rights debate, and to help guide all relevant actors. The framework comprised of three core principles: the State duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business; the corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and the need for more effective access to remedies (which can be termed as Protect, Respect & Remedy). Ruggie report and recent changes in the trend has brought worldwide attention to the conditions of those living in less developed countries and their human rights. India also amended its Company Law in 2013 to make CSR mandatory for certain bracket of companies. Recently Pfizer put on hold on the sale and marketing of its products which was used by the state as lethal injections for capital punishment in its country. The reason cited was moral responsibility towards society. The question arises that do the pharmaceutical companies have heightened responsibility towards society? Is 2% mandatory CSR enough for pharmaceutical companies? Do pharmaceutical companies have a common but differentiated responsibility towards society because of basic reason of its customer are choosing their products by choice but because they need it to fulfill their basic human right of right to life? By answering these questions and analyzing Ruggie report with special reference to pharmaceutical companies, the researchers have looked into the merging responsibility of corporate and government towards human rights. The research is purely a doctrinal study with the help of secondary data. The research article has limited its universe to the Pharmaceutical Companies, as they need to have a heightened sense of moral responsibility because of the nature of their consumers and products. The researchers have also tried to posit a theory of CSR for protection of basic human rights of access to medicines by pharmaceutical companies, which will be ultimately helpful towards policy-making decisions of southbound countries.

Keywords: CSR, Human Rights, Pharmaceutical Companies, Pfizer.
Scope of the Article: Social Sciences