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Responding department: Corporate Responsibility

Stock exchange symbol: (PFE:US)

Does your company have a publicly available commitment to respect human rights?

Yes, Pfizer has a Human Rights Statement in addition to our Business Code of Conduct. Additionally, Pfizer has a statement on working conditions and a position on Supplier Conduct as it relates to the Supply Chain. We continue to make our position available on our website as they are updated.

Pfizer’s “Human Right’s Statement”: [link]

Pfizer’s “Business Code of Conduct”: [link]

Pfizer’s “Supplier Conduct Position Statement,” [link]

Pfizer complies with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act — [link]

How are human rights governed in your company?

Pfizer’s Corporate Governance Committee of the Pfizer Inc. Board of Directors has ultimate oversight of corporate responsibility issues including human rights. Pfizer strives to uphold human rights in all of our business activities. Access to health, discrimination, responsible conduct of clinical trials, privacy of individuals, and working conditions in the supply chain are among the many areas related to human rights that are of particular concern to Pfizer.

How are human rights managed within your company?

At Pfizer, our purpose is to innovate to bring therapies to patients that significantly improve their lives. High among our stated corporate values is Respect for People, and in that spirit, Pfizer strives to uphold human rights in all of our business activities. Through our products and services we advance human rights by improving the health of people around the world.

Although governments have the primary duty to protect these rights, companies share a responsibility to act in ways that support them. Building on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the U.N. Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, outlines how governments, companies, and other actors can meet their responsibilities to protect these rights. For companies, it advocates proactive due diligence in operations and remediation of any negative impacts. Companies also have independent opportunities to advance human rights through their products and services and through their contributions to economic development and philanthropy. Pfizer is committed to these principles in its operations and has made significant progress working with partners and stakeholders to advance and protect these rights.

Access to Health — Globally, underserved populations often struggle to access functioning health care systems and therefore do not have consistent access to safe and reliable medicines. The number of people without access to essential health care services is estimated at 1 billion due to the shortage of trained health workers. Pfizer’s Business Code of Conduct prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind.

Discrimination — In some countries, women, minorities, and LBGT people are discriminated against regarding access to employment and education. Women and minorities represent a lower proportion of the overall science and engineering workforce than they do of science and engineering degree recipients. Pfizer’s Business Code of Conduct prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. The Code of Conduct training is provided to all colleagues. In addition, the Pfizer Integrity Pledge is issued annually to confirm colleagues are familiar with the Code of Conduct and agree to uphold Pfizer’s core values and follow Pfizer’s policies. Pfizer has more than 90 regional and local business resource networks of diverse colleagues that inform and implement strategies and initiatives that align with Pfizer's business imperatives and values.

What is the company’s approach to the engagement of stakeholders (including workers, and local communities impacted by the company’s activities), on human rights issues?

Pfizer supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We were an early signatory to the U.N. Global Compact — a document that asks companies to embrace universal principles and to partner with the U.N. — that endorses 10 principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.

Pfizer is committed to the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights in its operations and has made significant progress working with partners and stakeholders to advance and protect these rights.

Addressing worker health and safety across our supply chain is an integral part of business and is foundational to human rights. Pfizer has internal and external standards aimed at safeguarding workers and protecting our suppliers. We also have systems in place to ensure working conditions meet these high standards.

Priority human rights issues: What are some of the priority human rights issues for your company?

The company selected the following from a check list:

  • Health (including workplace health & safety, prevention of pollution)
  • Workplace diversity / non-discrimination
  • Forced labour and human trafficking (including in supply chains)
  • Sexual harassment
  • Freedom of expression and/or right to privacy / digital rights
  • Transparency in payments to governments / responsible tax practices
  • Product misuse
  • Racial and ethnic minorities
  • Women

Actions on health

  • Globally, underserved populations often struggle to access functioning health care systems and therefore do not have consistent access to safe and reliable medicines. The number of people without access to essential health care services is estimated at billion due to the shortage of trained health workers.(1)
  • Pfizer’s products and pipeline address 17 of the top 20 global burdens of disease.
  • Pfizer is helping to end trachoma, an infectious disease afflicting an estimated 41 million people worldwide, by partnering with the World Health Organization's Alliance for the Global Elimination of Blinding Trachoma by the year 2020 and the International Trachoma Initiative.
  •  Pfizer RxPathways™, formerly Pfizer Helpful Answers® (PHA), helps eligible patients in need in the U.S. get access to their Pfizer medicines by offering a range of support services, including insurance counseling, co-pay help, providing Pfizer medicines for free or at a savings, and more. In the last five years (2009–2013), Pfizer has helped nearly 3.4 million uninsured and underinsured patients get access to more than 39 million Pfizer prescriptions, equaling more than $6.5 billion.(2)
  • Through the Pfizer Global Health Fellows program, our international skills-based corporate volunteering program, more than 350 Pfizer colleagues have worked with nonprofit partners throughout the developing world to strengthen capacity in local health care systems. To date, Fellows have provided an estimated 345,000 hours in pro bono service valued at more than $50 million.

1) According to the World Health Organization, [link].

2) According to the National Science Foundation.

Actions on workplace diversity / non-discrimination

 In some countries, women, minorities, and LBGT people are discriminated against regarding access to employment and education. Women and minorities represent a lower proportion of the overall science and engineering workforce than they do of science and engineering degree recipients.(2)

  • Pfizer has been named as one of the Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality by the Human Rights Campaign for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Pfizer’s Business Code of Conduct prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind. The Code of Conduct training is provided to all colleagues. In addition, the Pfizer Integrity Pledge is issued annually to confirm colleagues are familiar with the Code of Conduct and agree to uphold Pfizer’s core values and follow Pfizer’s policies.
  • Pfizer has more than 90 regional and local business resource networks of diverse colleagues that inform and implement strategies and initiatives that align with Pfizer's business imperatives and values.

2) According to the National Science Foundation.

Actions on freedom of expression and privacy

Respecting the privacy of individuals who entrust us with their personal information is of the utmost importance to Pfizer. For this reason, the company has policies in place that are designed to safeguard personal information and ensure that personal information is collected, used, and shared for the development and marketing of medicines in an appropriate manner and in conformity with our promises and legal obligations. Pfizer abides by all privacy-related legislation in the countries where it operates, including to offer individuals choices as appropriate with respect to their personal information when interacting with the company.

Actions on 'other' issues

Working Conditions in the Supply Chain — Addressing worker health and safety across our supply chain is an integral part of business and is foundational to human rights. Pfizer has internal and external standards aimed at safeguarding workers and protecting our suppliers. We also have systems in place to ensure working conditions meet these high standards.

  • Pfizer’s “Supplier Conduct Position Statement,” [link], provides a framework of principles that outline responsible ethical, social, and environmental practices.
  • Pfizer partners with organizations such as the Institute for Supply Management and the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative to drive alignment with these principles.
  • Pfizer complies with the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act —[link].

How are human rights commitments and information about how the company addresses its human rights impacts communicated, internally and externally?

Pfizer supports the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We were an early signatory to the U.N. Global Compact — a document that asks companies to embrace universal principles and to partner with the U.N. — that endorses 10 principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption. Our commitment is shared internally and externally and is available on our website. Pfizer is committed to the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights in its operations and has made significant progress working with partners and stakeholders to advance and protect these rights. We continue to make our policies and positions available on our website as they are updated.

Pfizer’s Annual Review is another communications vehicle we utilize to convey our position with workers and stakeholders. ([link])

Pfizer’s Achievements include:

  • 2013 Top 50 Companies for Diversity —DiversityInc magazine 
  • Top 50 Companies for Executive Women — National Association of Female Executives(NAFE)
  • Working Mother 100 Best Companies in 2013 — Working Mother magazine.
  • Most Friendly to Women Employer of the Year — The Gulf and Levant Markets, Women in Leadership Middle East and Africa Forum
  • 100% score on Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.

What provisions does your company have in place to ensure that grievances from workers and affected communities or individuals are heard, and can you provide examples of remedies provided?

Pfizer’s Business Code of Conduct (known internally in Pfizer as the “Blue Book”) and its companion internal website [link] are essential resources available for all colleagues. They outline Pfizer’s Policies on Business Conduct and identify the people who can answer colleagues’ questions about compliance-related issues. At Pfizer, many channels exist for reporting compliance issues. These include colleagues’ manager via the Open Door Policy, Human Resources and the Compliance Division. The Open Door Policy encourages colleagues to present ideas, raise concerns and ask questions— especially those of a legal or ethical nature, but also those relating to quality of work and the working environment. All managers are responsible for supporting this policy by maintaining an “open door” for colleagues who may reach out to them.

The Compliance Helpline phone and web-reporting tools can provide access to corporate resources to address matters that might not be adequately resolved locally, and can also provide a way to report a concern or get information or advice anonymously. The information provided is reported to Pfizer’s Compliance Division, which will take appropriate action.

The Chief Compliance and Risk Officer is responsible for overseeing Pfizer’s compliance program, including monitoring and self-evaluation programs related to the Company’s legal and regulatory obligations; ensures that there is broad application and consistent interpretation of our standards; chairs the Corporate Compliance Committee; and reports to the Chief Executive Officer. The Compliance Division works with the Chief Compliance and Risk Officer to ensure adherence to laws, regulations, and Company policies and procedures on a day-to-day basis. Pfizer’s tiered compliance committee structure promotes leadership oversight through the Executive Compliance Committee, the Corporate Compliance Committee, and various business unit and divisional committees. This design complements our embedded divisional and business unit compliance organization. Additional compliance support is provided by groups and individuals throughout the Company in areas such as legal, safety and monitoring, corporate audit, Human Resources, finance, corporate governance, policy and other functions.

The Compliance Division has exclusive responsibility, on behalf of the Chief Compliance and Risk Officer, for investigating “Referable Compliance Issues”— significant potential, suspected or actual violations of law or policy. The Compliance Division may seek help in investigating these matters from other individuals and groups. No investigation may be commenced, however, without the express consent of the Compliance Division. The Compliance Division is responsible for ensuring that the Company fulfills its obligations, including required training, reporting and auditing, under its Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with the U.S. Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG).

Which external and collaborative human rights initiatives does your company participate in, and what is the nature of your involvement?

U.N. Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights: Pfizer is committed to these principles in its operations and has made significant progress working with partners and stakeholders to advance and protect these rights. Pfizer supports both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. We were an early signatory to the U.N. Global Compact — a document that asks companies to embrace universal principles and to partner with the U.N. — that endorses 10 principles on human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.

Which are the key one, two or three elements of your approach to human rights that been developed or amended since June 2011? Please indicate if these actions were in response to the UN Guiding Principles.

Pfizer continues to strive and uphold human rights in all our business activities. High among our stated corporate values is Respect for People. Through our products and services we advance human rights by improving the health of people around the world. We continue to apply these elements to our everyday business and communicate additional measures with transparency which is an effort that has been covered more broadly as a result of the UN Global Compact and the UN Guiding Principles. We continue to make our policies and positions available on our website as they are updated.

What are some of the obstacles and challenges that your company encounters in implementing its human rights commitments?

We are committed to respecting and advancing human rights while delivering health care solutions and products, and to codifying these rights in our operations. Our commitment is reflected in Pfizer’s policies and practices, which are updated regularly to ensure that we maximize our impact in this area. As a global leader in health care, we play an important role in advancing human rights by bringing medicines to market that improve the health and well-being of people around the world. Pfizer encourages other companies to leverage their scale and global reach to similarly develop policies and practices to advance human rights.