As a global healthcare company operating in more than 100 countries, Baxter is committed to effective corporate governance, adherence to the law, and a culture of ethics and compliance throughout the organization. In 1995, Baxter became one of the first companies to adopt formal corporate governance guidelines. Enhancing the company’s practices and setting new standards is ongoing, and the company’s current corporate governance guidelines reflect this evolution.
Baxter’s Ethics and Compliance team works closely with operating and legal teams based across the regions in Baxter’s businesses to ensure that the company’s activities adhere to applicable laws and to company policies. The organization offers numerous channels to educate and counsel employees, as well as confidential avenues to raise questions or report alleged violations of law and company policy. It investigates these items promptly and reports to senior management as appropriate.
Codes and Standards
Code of Conduct
We have established a strong foundation of integrity and compliance that helps guide employees in making good, ethical business judgments and taking appropriate, lawful actions.
Standard for Suppliers
We expect suppliers and business partners to comply with our guidelines and to know and obey all the laws governing the purchasing function at Baxter.
Human Rights across the Value Chain
As outlined in Baxter’s Global Human Rights Policy, the company respects the human rights, dignity and diverse contributions of all individuals. Fostering human rights in the company’s direct and indirect actions takes many forms at Baxter, and is reflected in numerous company policies and initiatives, in areas including employment practices, privacy, safety, supply chain, ethical conduct and access to healthcare.
Professional Codes of Ethics and Industry Standards
Baxter has adopted the following external professional and industry codes of ethics:
- AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals;
- National Society of Professional Engineers Code of Ethics for Engineers;
- MedTech Europe Code of Ethical Business Practice.
Additionally, the company works with non-governmental organizations and trade associations to enhance ethics and compliance standards worldwide. This includes:
- Working with the China Association of Enterprises with Foreign Investment R&D-based Pharmaceutical Association Committee (RDPAC) on an industry-wide ethical sales and marketing code;
- Participating on a task force of the China Council of Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed), to develop an industry code of conduct for the China operations of AdvaMed member companies;
- Working with the Mexican Association of Innovative Medical Devices Industries (AMID) to update AMID’s Code of Interactions with Healthcare Professionals; Baxter also supported AMID by creating a harmonized training that endorses standards and criteria agreed upon by the medical device industry; and
- Participating in The Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative.
Ethics and Compliance Structure and Programs
Baxter designed and updates its ethics and compliance structure and programs regularly to reflect the needs of a complex global healthcare company.
Baxter has an integrated local governance model in place, with Ethics & Compliance committees operating at the regional, country and business levels to drive the integration of the Ethics & Compliance program throughout Baxter
Baxter has a global network of personnel tasked with identifying and addressing trade compliance issues in their countries and functions, and seeking advice from designated subject matter experts as warranted. The company also continues to enhance tools and processes to screen for and address related risks involving its products and business transactions.
Data Privacy and Security
Communication and Guidance
Open communication is central to Baxter’s commitment to integrity. The company offers numerous channels to educate and counsel employees as well as confidential avenues to report suspected violations of law and policy which it investigates promptly and reports to senior management as appropriate. Managers are responsible for maintaining an environment that enables employees to raise and discuss issues safely.
One such channel is the Baxter Ethics and Compliance Helpline, an independent telephone and Web resource available to employees and their families, suppliers, customers and other Baxter stakeholders to raise issues and openly communicate about possible company ethics and compliance issues. Callers can report an issue or seek guidance in any one of 32 languages, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and may choose to remain anonymous. No caller identification features are attached to this line.
The Ethics and Compliance Helpline was established as an independent channel of communication that allows people to convey concerns and have an open dialogue about Baxter’s ethics and compliance issues.
Read about Baxter’s recent efforts in the 2016 Baxter Corporate Responsibility Report.