Girl at the doctor

Ethics & Transparency

At the heart of our social responsibility

Ethics & Transparency are the core of the company’s social responsibility. It is our way of working every day and forms the basis of our relationship with each of our stakeholders.

We strongly believe that Ethics & Transparency are real drivers of value creation, essential and undisputed to preserve and strengthen the trust of patients, stakeholders and communities.

We have developed strong rules in accordance with the legal framework in each of the countries we operate in. Our Code of Ethics is available in 29 languages and provided to all employees

Medical ethics and bioethics: responsible practices and progress

Continuously revisiting and improving consistent and transparent bioethical standards throughout our research and clinical development activities, our Chief Medical Officer and Global Head of Development, chairs the Sanofi Bioethics Committee. The Bioethics Committee determines our position on bioethics policies and ensures ethical conduct for Sanofi medical and scientific activities.

With new biotechnologies, scientific advances, public health priorities, stronger demand for transparency and data protection, we constantly improve and upgrade our ethical requirement in clinical research. We regularly issue and update our policies.

The company also focuses on the ethical challenges regarding the use of animals in research and production of drugs and vaccines. The current consensus is that using animals for research and production is justified when there are clear benefits for human health and no alternatives to the use of animals are reliable enough to replace studies in animals. In addition, animal ethics committees ensure that there is a clear harm-benefit analysis: the expected study outcomes outweigh the harm for the animals. The 3Rs principles (replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal use) are thoroughly applied. Sanofi Chief Veterinary Officer chairs the Advisory Body on Animal Ethics created to address societal questions relating to the use and protection of animals. Its objective is to define Sanofi’s orientations and positions regarding the use and care of animals in line with international recommendations. The positions are approved by Sanofi Bioethics Committee.

In 2020, Sanofi has maintained its effort to replace and reduce the use of animals. Animals used on Sanofi sites globally is 303 507 animals, more than 99% being rodents and fish. Since 2013, the overall reduction is 45%.

Transparency: ongoing credibility and trust

Because we are committed to credibility and trust, Transparency is the cornerstone of our strategy. We disclose our investments to healthcare professionals, all ongoing clinical study protocols are available and we publish our study results, both positive and negative.

Our transparency commitments encompass three main areas:

  • Interactions with healthcare providers, healthcare organizations and medical and scientific associations.
    Public disclosure in 40 countries of our interactions with healthcare professionals and medical and scientific associations
    Relations with healthcare professionals
  • Clinical trials data transparency.
    43 clinical trial registrations and 142 clinical trial results posted in 2016
    Clinical trials disclosures commitments

Animal use transparency
Sanofi has signed the French Transparency Charter on the use of animals for scientific and regulatory purposes. We are committed to making information on the use of animals for scientific or regulatory purposes accessible to the general public. More details on the animal protection program at Sanofi are provided in the Factsheet on Animal Protection 

We have authored or sponsored 859 scientific and medical publications in PubMed with over 5,200 journals indexed.

Also, we received 142 requests from 17 countries for clinical trial data sharing for 385 clinical trials since January 1st 2014 (details are disclosed in the document de reference, the 2019 version available here).

Business ethics: do the right thing, the right way, at the right time and for the right reason

Supported by all departments, the Ethics & Business Integrity (E&BI) Department is a cornerstone of Sanofi’s ethical approach, supporting the achievement of our business objectives while ensuring compliance and promoting business ethical values in daily activities.

We have developed a Code of Ethics addressing 13 topics supported by dedicated policies and procedures (e.g. anti-bribery policy, patient advocates and groups, donations,…).

A Compliance Helpline system has been implemented to allow anyone to raise concerns directly to Ethics & Business Integrity department if they believe in good faith that the Sanofi Code of Ethics, policies and standards or a law, regulation, an industry code of conduct has been or is about to be violated.

In 2019, over 171,554 Ethics & Business integrity training modules were followed by our employees worldwide.


Responsible procurement : creating value through the supply chain

Our Procurement function is centralized, and acts in the name of all Sanofi entities (including our Global Business Units and support functions). Our procurement policy, which applies to all our employees, is based not only on economic principles but also on ethical, environmental and social principles.

Sanofi is an active member of the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative (PSCI), which aims to improve practices at industry-specific suppliers by establishing common standards, providing support and training programs for suppliers, and arranging shared audits.

Sanofi is also part of the Together for Sustainability (TfS) initiative, a worldwide program to evaluate and improve sustainable procurement practices adopted by suppliers. Under the TfS initiative, supplier evaluations and audits are carried out, and the results shared between TfS members via a collaborative online platform.

We believe that being part of these collaborative initiatives will improve our capability, along with our suppliers, to uphold our CSR commitments.

In 2020, Sanofi conducted 87 audits (CMO and API suppliers) and 212 supplier assessments.

Patient safety: first

Patient safety is the primary focus of our Global Pharmacovigilance, Quality and Counterfeiting teams. We aim to guarantee quality at each phase of a product’s life cycle.

Quality management

Our commitment to quality comes first. We constantly monitor and improve our quality management, globally and locally. Our quality management encompasses: quality systems, inspection readiness, quality risk management, quality performance and quality culture

177 regulatory inspections were carried out in 2020.

Pharmacovigilance

We monitor product safety and constantly assess the benefit-risk profile of our products in close relation with health authorities. The best conditions of their use are provided to physicians, healthcare professionals and patients with comprehensive up-to-date information.

Our Global Pharmacovigilance department has set up an effective global organization to collect pharmacovigilance data from all sources of information with strong interactions with stakeholders worldwide.