Ethical business practices play a crucial role amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as healthcare systems in the APEC region face major challenges
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The APEC intensifies its commitment to pushing for patient health and cross-border trade, with the launch of a bold new-fangled vision for the subsequent five years to reinforce business ethics and integrity in health-related sectors.

The plan comes to fruition under the world’s largest ethics pacts to strengthen ethical business practices in the medical device and biopharmaceutical sectors, according to a written statement issued by the APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group and received here on Friday.

"Ethical business practices play a crucial role amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as healthcare systems in the APEC region face major challenges," according to Joseph C. Semsar, Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade at the US Department of Commerce, which oversees the initiative.

"The vision reflects the urgency and commitment from the public and private stakeholders in the region to further promote ethical environments to ensure a culture that upholds patient trust in which small and medium enterprises can sustainably operate and innovate across the region," he stated.

The Vision 2025 for the Business Ethics for APEC SMEs Initiative was announced virtually earlier this week at the 2020 APEC Business Ethics for SMEs Virtual Forum, by a diverse set of stakeholders, including government agencies, representatives from patients and patient organizations, healthcare providers and professional organizations, medical device and biopharmaceutical organizations, and researchers and academia across APEC economies.

"Vision 2025 is about constantly setting and then doing everything we can to meet and exceed the highest ethical standards on behalf of the patients we serve," President and CEO of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) Scott Whitaker noted.

"These efforts are particularly important as APEC economies and the medical technology sector, especially our small- and medium-sized businesses, respond to the pandemic in order to save lives and serve patients," Whitaker emphasized.

Furthermore, the vision breaks new ground in a bid to measure the positive impact of ethical business practices, taking the conversation beyond the costs of corruption and providing new evidence of the advantages realized by organizations that embrace integrity.

"Biopharmaceutical companies, large and small, know all too well the importance of ethics and business integrity. The work of APEC in this area has been crucial and demonstrates how ethics create value across the health economy," Director General of the IFPMA and Industry Co-Chair of the APEC Biopharmaceutical Working Group on Ethics Thomas Cueni stated.

"As we tackle COVID-19, building trust by conducting business with integrity is vital in ensuring confidence in innovative vaccines and medicines both to treat COVID-19 and deliver existing medicines and vaccines," Cueni remarked.

The annual forum also suggested to modernize the preceding ethics principles for the medical devices sector and biopharmaceutical sector and further strengthen capacity-building initiatives for small business owners, directors, and distributors.

Speaking during the forum’s plenary session, APEC Secretariat Executive Director Rebecca Sta Maria highlighted the significance of keeping trade open during this unprecedented time, adding that closer collaboration between policymakers and private sector in business ethics is important.

"This aims to uphold integrity in the supply and distribution of medical products of the highest standards, so that we can ensure progress towards recovery," Sta Maria remarked.


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Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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