Journal of Business Ethics 117 (1):45-65 (2013)

Abstract
In recent years, the biopharmaceutical industry has seen an increase in the development of so-called orphan drugs for the treatment of rare and neglected diseases. This increase has been spurred on by legislation in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere designed to promote orphan drug development. In this article, we examine the drivers of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in orphan drug markets and the extent to which biopharmaceutical firms engage in these activities with a strategic orientation. The unique context of orphan drugs constitutes a research opportunity to test the applicability of existing theoretical perspectives on CSR and strategic CSR. Using Schwartz and Carroll’s (Bus Ethics Q, 13(4):503–530, 2003) three-domain approach to CSR and the literature on strategic CSR as a theoretical background, we employ a combination of semi-structured interviews and a quantitative website content analysis to study practices of biopharmaceutical firms in the United States and European Union. Our findings show that both US- and EU-based companies engaged in orphan drugs development perceive their involvement as a responsible business activity beyond the economic dimension of CSR. However, for the majority of these companies their CSR activities do not qualify as strategic according to the criteria established in the literature. We also find significant differences between larger and smaller firms in their use of CSR. Based on these findings, we make several suggestions regarding orphan drug legislation and other measures that might help firms exploit strategic CSR benefits
Keywords Biopharmaceutical industry  Corporate social responsibility (CSR)  European Union (EU)  Orphan drugs  Rare diseases  Strategic CSR  United States (US)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-012-1496-y
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,008
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Industry Social Standings: A Social Audit of the Beer Industry.James Weber & Jennifer J. Griffin - 2005 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 16:190-195.
Environmental Integrity and Corporate Responsibility.Richard H. Guerrette - 1986 - Journal of Business Ethics 5 (5):409 - 415.
Industry, Innovation and Social Values.Harvey E. Bale - 2005 - Science and Engineering Ethics 11 (1):31-40.
Using Industry Analysis to Develop Boundary Conditions for Responding to the Social Environment.Andrea K. Young - 2007 - Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 18:289-293.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-09-27

Total views
38 ( #298,645 of 2,505,175 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #277,206 of 2,505,175 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes