Governance, Quality & Compliance
Adopting the highest standards of Governance, Quality & Compliance is essential to the success of our business. The Board approved the adoption of the UK Code as the corporate governance code of the Group in early 2022.
Product Quality and Patient Safety
The healthcare industry is a highly regulated industry, and this regulation is essential to protect the health and safety of people who use the products and services we supply. The Group is committed to ensuring that the products we supply reach the patient in perfect condition and that we provide all services in an ethical and compliant manner. Through extensive training the Group places a focus on a quality culture and a strong understanding of quality risk management. This allows us to meet or exceed the requirements and expectations of our customers and partners. Uniphar has a robust digital quality management system (QMS) in place, underpinned by the core GxP regulatory requirements, which ensures alignment and ongoing certification with ISO 9001 2015.
This allows us to comply with the many regulatory regimes, including importation, storage, distribution of products in accordance with EU GDP Regulations as well as promotion of and engagement with pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in an ethical and compliant manner. The Group appointed a Global Head of Quality in 2022 to oversee and harmonise the quality functions across each business in the Group to ensure all businesses are operating best-in-class quality management systems.
Uniphar is committed to promoting a corporate culture that is based on sound ethical values and behaviours. The Group’s Code of Conduct is an overview of our responsibilities to each other and to the many different constituencies we serve – to our clients, customers, principals and to the communities where we live and work. It defines business conduct standards for everyone who works for us, in all business areas, in every function, geography and role. A copy of our Groupwide Code of Conduct is available here.
The Group is continuing to develop its Supplier Code of Conduct and Responsible Sourcing Policy to outline our expectations of our suppliers and their responsibilities to us.
The Group also has a Whistleblower Policy in place, establishing a structure where behaviours which depart from this ethical culture can be reported whilst protecting the rights of the whistleblower. This policy includes an external reporting line. A copy of our Whistleblower Policy is available here.
Anti-bribery & Corruption
The Group has an Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy in place and adopts a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of bribery and corruption. These standards are communicated to, and expected of, all employees. A copy of our Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy is available here.
The Group is opposed to any form of slavery and human trafficking and conducts its business in line with the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 and has a Modern Slavery Policy in place which is available to view here.
Conflict of Interest
The Group is conscious that at times, interests of our employees may conflict with those of the Group or our customers. The Group has a Conflict of Interest Policy in place which seeks to manage or avoid ethical, legal, financial or other conflicts of interest and to ensure that activities and interests of our employees do not conflict with their obligations to the Group or its welfare. A copy of our Conflict of Interest Policy is available here.
Systemic Risk Management
The Group has a robust risk management framework in place which provides the structure for managing the principal risks of the business. Details of this risk management framework are detailed in our Annual Report. In addition, the quality and regulatory personnel across the Group perform regular risk assessments and have robust validation processes in place.
Critical Incident Risk Management
Critical incident management requires a coordinated response from multiple teams to ensure any critical incidents (regardless of severity) are appropriately managed. Our internal reporting lines and focus on open communication across divisions and functions ensures that any critical incident identified is managed appropriately.
Legal and Regulatory Requirements
The Group appreciates the importance of regulatory expertise in navigating the ever-changing regulatory environment in which we operate. The Group’s General Counsel heads the legal and compliance function across the Group with external legal and regulatory support sought where necessary. Our extensive quality teams specialise in healthcare regulation and the requirements of GDP and other regulatory codes relevant to our business. Appropriate training of our teams on the applicable regulations in the areas in which they work is essential to maintaining the Group’s reputation for quality and regulatory excellence.
Selling Practices & Product Labelling
As a healthcare business engaged in the sale, marketing and distribution of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, the Group is subject to extensive regulation on Selling Practices and Product Labelling.
Regulations, together with industry codes of practice, set down strict requirements within which the Group must operate and the Group’s quality policies, manuals, extensive standard operating procedures (SOPs), and employee training programmes are designed to ensure the Group meets its obligations and ensures compliance to the fullest extent. The Group’s internal procedures are the core of the Group’s Quality Management System and it is through these robust procedures and ongoing training and development that the Group continues to meet the regulatory standards across all engaged activities.
The Group is also required to comply with standards relating to the provision of information to healthcare professionals (HCP), patients and the public. The Group is committed to enabling doctors and healthcare professionals to offer their patients the best possible therapeutic care by providing them with complete, accurate and up to date information in accordance with the applicable legislation on the promotion of medicinal products.