Integrity: a basis for our business
I can truly say that I grew up with Roche. My father worked for this company for more than 35 years. I was always impressed with Roche’s values.
Today, I still believe firmly in Roche’s values in my work at Roche Philippines. As Finance Director, I am responsible for meeting our objectives. As Compliance Officer, it is my job to ensure that we sell our products in an ethical manner. We rely on the science and clinical data behind our products to convince decision-makers about their value.
The pharmaceutical industry is highly regulated. Roche goes beyond those regulations to ensure that employees are compliant with high ethical standards. In the area of healthcare, compliance standards govern our interactions with doctors, hospital administrators, patients and many other stakeholders.
When I took on this job in 2014, there was a need to deepen understanding of compliance. Healthcare regulations and our own internal guidelines are evolving rapidly. Sometimes, questions and ambiguities arise. Our people needed information resources that were close at hand.
That’s why we established the Compliance Champions in the Philippines. Since every function across Pharmaceuticals, Diagnostics and Diabetes Care have a Compliance Champion as a contact person; it is much easier for colleagues to consult them.
That was a catalyst for change in our organisation. Employees no longer looked at compliance as a separate function, but as a part of their daily work. The internal expertise helped us to illuminate gray areas and become more proactive in addressing potential issues. And if we need additional clarification or help, we can always call on compliance resources at the regional or global level.
It’s about asking yourself before making a decision if you are doing the right thing.
For me, compliance is not a policy—it’s a mindset. It’s about asking yourself before making a decision whether it is the right thing to do. That mindset is now part of our organisation. Since launching the Compliance Champions initiative, we are evolving in our compliance journey by creating an environment where we spend much less time evaluating potential compliance issues.
We also see the impact with external stakeholders. If a doctor asks whether his spouse or partner can attend a Roche event, for example, we politely decline and explain the “why” in terms of our integrity standards. This strengthens our position as a reputable company.
I believe strongly in what we do for patients at Roche. In my job, I don’t have a direct influence on discovering or developing new drugs. But if I can contribute to making our business more sustainable, I have done something that matters.