Roche A Pioneer In Healthcare Industry Commerce Essay


Roche is one of the pioneers in healthcare industry all over the world. Over a long period, this company has been producing innovative product and services for the treatment of diseases, diagnosis and prevention of diseases on a broad range to improve people's health and quality of life. Most of the time they produce the first products for the patient based on necessity. Roche is the world leader for the drugs like; cancer, transplantation, and active in other major therapeutic areas with a high medical need such as autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases, virology, metabolic disorders and diseases of the central nervous system.

The major three elements of sustainability are society, environment and economy and these elements are interdependent. Without meeting these elements a good company cannot be successful in the long run. They try to balance these three elements in all aspects of managing their business.

Their products and services not only save people's life but also create economic value. The right medication, received in time and at the right dose, hastens recovery and alleviates the most serious - and costly - effects of a disease. This can shorten or even avoid hospital stays. Patients can return to work sooner and reduce earnings lost through illness. They believe these overall social and economic benefits provide value beyond just the product itself.

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Ultimately patients and society only benefit from products if there is access to them. Therefore they are working with local and international partners to improve healthcare delivery e.g. through health awareness programmes, better preventive health services and increased access to medicines. They support projects where we can contribute skills and know-how as they believe this is a more sustainable solution. Their sustainability commitments ensure they remain a responsible company that inspires pride in its employees and deserves the trust of all its stakeholders.

Roche maintains open and honest relationships with their shareholders, prospective investors and the wider investment community. The role of Investor Relations is to manage these relationships efficiently, transparently and consistently in accordance with company polices and relevant securities rules and laws.

Mission of the Company:

Their mission is today and tomorrow is to create added value in healthcare by focusing on our expertise in diagnostics and pharmaceuticals.

Goals of the Company:

Provide timely, relevant, consistent and accurate information to all shareholders and prospective investors to aid them in assessing the value of Roche and to make informed investment decisions;

Facilitate dialogue between Roche management and the investment community

Achieve a fair valuation of Roche by the financial markets

Ethical Issues of Roche

Rights, conflicts & responsibilities:

Ethics is a code of behaviour that a society considers moral and appropriate for guiding relationship with one another. It involves judgments as to good and bad, right and wrong and what ought to be when everything will go smoothly in the organization then it treated as an ethically sound business organization. In addition people should have the right for electing religious or social beliefs and relationship. Moreover people should respect others rights as well as get respect from others consequently. Unless standard ethics or these short of situation occurred in organization then conflict will arise and responsibility going down progressively. Consumer rights are practiced in Europe with a greater importance comparing to the other regions.

Being a highly developed country, and being in a very sensitive business like drugs and medicine, Roche have to be very careful and always on the toes regarding the consumer rights. Therefore compared to other regions, Roche is dedicated to meet higher ethical values and they are also loyal to the laws of wherever they do business, such as locally, nationally, internationally. Their corporate principles are also fixing with their ethical standards.

Healthcare has dramatic impact on all generations of people, all patients and all types of diseases. Roche is always in favour of making innovative products and services and they try to make the unmet medical products which have a great value to the patients and the society. In consideration of healthcare industry Roche ensures to stay market leader in the changing healthcare trends. They always try to focus on the long-run success and get competitive advantage compare to other healthcare companies without focusing in short-term success. They take long time like 8 to 12 years to bring their product into market; they also try to protect current and future value of their company which is very critical. They always believe this creates a strong business case for their sustainability.


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One of the major parts of marketing is to create demand for a certain product in peoples mind. Information bridges a relationship between consumer & the organization. In this relationship an organization should not participate in actions, agreements or practices which may be detrimental to customers, competitors or established community.

Roche has adapted its marketing policies accordingly the way it suits the European markets considering the sensitivity and legal aspects in mind. And they must have been successful because the market in the Roche has always been a good contributor in its total revenue worldwide. It is obvious that the marketing policies in the Europe will not be same as the other parts of the world and it must be kept in mind the business they are in because drugs and medicine is a product which is very susceptible. It can be said that Roche has successfully customized the policies fit with the marketing strategies in Switzerland.


While representing an organization a person is entrusted to do certain actions to his/her best utilizing own merit, experience & creativity. Trust, integrity, honesty, knowledge, judgment, courage, commitment, respect, responsibility etc are the factors those an organization faces. Customers from the general public rely on the knowledge, expertise, and honesty of the professional. This outstanding characteristic will cause his superiors to take notice which is pretty much important for organization. It is well clear to all that no doubt Roche is one the biggest multi national companies and one of the leaders in the drug business, so they would be professional in their business, it is easily understandable. And they should also keep it in mind that without being professional a big company cannot run smoothly. And Roche deserves full marks in the field of professionalism.

Information technology:

Manipulation of information, fabricated data regarding any business situation, competitors move or misleading customers are being faced by organizations. Information technology combined of people, equipment, and events that gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and precise information to marketing decision makers. It covers the total area of communication from management decision making to consumers' right choice. In today's world the business highly depends on the Information technology and Swiss Roche has used the same profoundly and effectively in Switzerland.


Communication must have been a considerable barrier because the communication system varies widely if we compare Middle East with Europe or America. Communication is thus a process by which means assigned and conveyed in an attempt to create shared understanding.

This process requires a vast range of skills in intrapersonal and interpersonal processing, listening, observing, speaking, questioning, analyzing, and evaluating. Through this an organization passes their mission, vision and goal to their employees. Ethical concepts are also conveying to the employee through effective communication. As it is varies country to country like Middle East and Europe, America, if compare among them. But Roche has adapted the communication intensively and came out with a very good result.

Freedom of action:

Knowledge on ethical & legal matters helps an organization grow fast. This issue has been probably a real trouble because once a foreign company operates in a country; they have to abide by the law of the host country and ultimately are forced to diversify to a substantial transformation from their parent concern. Like their law, rules and regulation. And the knowledge of ethical and legal matters helps the foreign organization raises fast if they abide the rules and regulation of the parent country. Roche also has been forced to bring changes and it can be said say they have successfully done this. And they have lucratively adapted with the system acted well.

Censorship on the internet:

Like any other communication, here an organization has to abide by the rules, regulations and other ethical issues so that manipulation of information does not take place or none of the community is biased. Information related to the business that followed by the rules and authorization of governing body is welcomed and helps the community or the target group well informed. In addition the ethical issue is also should involve in the censorship on the internet. Throughout the Europe the censor ship on the internet is a bit flexible and relaxed comparing to the other continents. And Roche have made the internet a very useful media to reach the consumers.

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Companies should have the system & procedures to perform all the operation or to response to any issue. While using computers employees have to follow the guidelines related to the betterment of the community as well as the organization. Information is the one of the basic way of running organization effectively which is related with technology like computer. And through the computerized organization, it's would be easier to maintain organization rules, regulation and others stuff properly.

Roche is utilizing the optimum facilities that can be obtained from the technology. And undoubtedly technology available in Switzerland is at its best.


Now a day's legal matters are closely merged with the corporate social responsibilities. Considering this issue we may think that business scope has become narrow but it is not true at all. Because any company do business within the community and if it cannot develop the community or do not respect the community or legal issues their scope of business will be narrower. So organization should cope up with this legal issue as well as CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) for the welfare of the whole nation. Foreign companies are not apart from that at all. In context with the market in the Europe, Roche have to face the barriers from mostly the strong competitors and the consumers' right protections. The reason behind this is that the consumer right is a major issue in the Europe and treated with intense importance. And accordingly they have customized their business and products quality in Switzerland.


While deciding on any matter an organization has to consider- is there anything wrong that goes against the employees' rights, organization's expectation or community's want? That is, nothing can be done that affects the smooth functioning of organization, community or the people. So every organization should maintain security effectively for the companies' privacy which will establish the company's security strong as well. Roche whatsoever harmonized with the security system and running smoothly. Roche have not only successfully handled the above discussed issues but they have effectively handled and made the most out of these ethical issues and used them as one of their strengths to gain and retain the market share in Switzerland and in the Europe as well.

Laws of the Switzerland

Country overview:

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe where it is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.

Switzerland is a country of land and its territory geographically divided between the Alps, the Central Plateau and the Jura that yields a total area of 41,285 km (15,940 sq mi). The population of Switzerland is approximately 7.8 million and most off the people concentrates on the Plateau, where the largest cities are situated. Its GDP is $67,384 which makes them one of the richest countries in the world. Zurich and Geneva is second and third cities of the world to live a quality life by people.

After 1815 this country never faced a state war internationally which shows their neutrality in the long time. They have joined the United Nations in 2002. Some great world organizations are situated in this country such as, World Economic Forum, the International Olympic Committee, the Red Cross, the World Trade Organization, FIFA, and the second largest UN office. On the European level it was a founder of the European Free Trade Association and is part of the Schengen Agreement.

Legal System:

Switzerland is a mixer of three main cultural and linguistic regions is German, French and Italian, to which the Romansh-speaking valleys are added.

They don't have a sense of common ethnic and linguistic identity. The strong sense of belonging to the country is founded on the common historical background, shared values (federalism, direct democracy, neutrality) and Alpine symbolism.

Swiss Confederation was traditionally established on August 01, 1291. They also celebrate their National Day on that day.

Switzerland has a federal structure with three different political levels:

the Confederation (Federal State),

the Cantons (States), and

the Municipalities (Local Authorities), which are subordinated to the Cantons, although they are granted a certain autonomy.

Sources of law:

Switzerland has a civil law legal system. Therefore, enacted or written law is the primary source of law. As in all other civil law legal systems, Swiss law is divided into public and private law.

Public law:

Public law is made for the state organizations, it also make the relationships between the state and the private individuals or with the companies. Public laws have some sub divisions which are Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, Tax Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Public International Law, Civil Procedure, Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy law are sub-divisions of public law.

Private law:

Private laws are governs the affiliations between individuals to individuals. This governs the relationship between individuals. Swiss civil law is mainly encompassed in the Swiss Civil Code which governs Status of Individuals, Family Law, Inheritance Law, and Property Law and in the Swiss Code of Obligations which governs Contracts, Torts, Commercial Law, Company Law, Law of checks and other payment instruments. Intellectual property law are copyright, patents, trademarks, etc. which are also areas of private law. Labour law is governed by private and public law.

Swiss laws are hierarchically ordered, according to the following rules:

federal law takes precedence over cantonal constitutions and law,

constitutional rules prevail over ordinary statutes, and

legislative statutes take priority over regulations promulgated by the government or administrative authorities.

Legislation in Switzerland is officially published in print by the applicable federal or cantonal Chancellery. Federal laws are published in two main collections:

the "Official Collection of Federal Laws" and

the "Systematic Collection of Federal Law"

Court structure:

The Swiss Federal Supreme Court comprises two courts of public law, two civil-law courts, one criminal court, as well as the two courts of social law in Lucerne. When a court is constituted, a judge-president is appointed. Each court has at least five ordinary judges. The courts are constituted for two years. If a point of law involves several courts, at least two-thirds of the judges of each court must be present to adjudicate. In principle, three judges sit at a court. Five judges sit on matters of law or at the request of a judge.

Different forms of business allowed to operate and the laws governing them:

Swiss private (civil) law recognises eleven types of companies, six of which are basically suitable for the operation of a trading company. Furthermore, a trading company can be run by a sole trader and - with restricted independence - by a subsidiary of a domestic or foreign company. First and foremost, the focus is on two types of company when someone wishes to set up business operations - the limited company and the limited liability company. These two types of company have the following benefits:

Limited liability and risk capital

Easier transfer of company shares / interests

Controlled representation/ agency rights

Dispute resolution procedures / options available and their effectiveness:

Dispute resolution procedures are almost same in all countries but options may be different from case to case. Basic procedure is as follows:

Presentation of Case

Witnesses usually presented through written testimony, subject to live cross-examination

Legal arguments may be presented at same time as factual arguments

Arguments as to damages can be presented at the same time or left to a bifurcated proceeding

Arbitrators consult on and prepare award

Draft award or portions of the award may be circulated to the parties before final issuance

Each proceeding is different subject to the control of the authority.

Laws relating to -

Switzerland has strong rules and regulations to protect counterfeit products. Copyright, trademarks, patent, designs etc are controlled by specific rules & regulations.


Copyright protection is available for all works at the point that the work is in any tangible form:

There may still be reasons to register.

As a copyright owner, you must register in order to be able to bring suit in federal court for infringement.

Registration puts others on notice.


Must file trademark applications with the Swiss Trademark Office), which is part of EU Administration for Industry and Commerce.

CTO is the most active TMO in the world

Local bureaus provide administrative enforcement of trademarks throughout EU


Must file patent applications with State IP Office

Their Regional Offices provide administrative enforcement

Rights are territorial

Have to use registered patent agent.


Every design of units is to be registered in Swiss Design control body. Once design is registered, the authority will not allow any other to copy design. These designs must have identical difference attributes.

Most of the registration is related to the government registration authorities. There are some legal representatives who help the organization to get assistance for protecting their patent, trademark etc.

Talking about their effectiveness, Roche can said to be quite successful because their overall performance has been remarkable in Switzerland. In the overall worldwide performance, the Swiss Roche performs well comparing to Roche in the other parts of the world. Despite all the pitfalls, the cultural barriers, the adverse regulations, and all other hindrances, Roche has been one of the most successful concerns out of all Roche concerns. Considering all the factors, both external and internal, we can say that on the above discussed points, Roche has been highly effective in running their business smoothly and outstanding in performance. And they have successfully abided by the legal system of Switzerland without any dispute.


Globalization has been seen to be aiding the pharmaceutical industry in reducing production and R&D costs, despite continued assertions that those costs are extravagant and justify massive marketing expenditures that go on to net huge revenues. These effects combine to spell out big profits for the industry, and in 2003 only ten drugs earned almost $50 billion. Normal profit margins are 40%, which does not even include the high wages that workers in such a knowledge economy receive. However, the escalation of profits for such a few numbers of products always necessitates greater and greater amounts of capital to be sustainable (Law 31), and periodically the top players of pharma devour each other in gigantic megamergers. When Glaxo took over Welcome it cost $14 billion. When Glaxo Welcome transformed into GlaxoSmithKline it took $76 billion. The Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca represented one of the first truly single-but-multinational firms and Pfizer practiced its own brand of expansion via aggressive acquisitions.

It seems that, at a certain point, all of these mergers will simply aggregate Big Pharma into a single, gigantic corporate monopoly. The sheer amount of money that this will place in just a few hands ensures that disingenuous global marketing campaigns will continue to be funded. The resources available to singular mega corporations (number-one drugmaker Pfizer is estimated to be worth $200 billion) make it is likely as well that the developing world will continue to be exploited for cheap labour and drug testing because of the transnational expediencies that neoliberal globalization affords the wealthy (Moynihan and Cassel). While government has the obligation to protect the people, only industry so far has demonstrated the capacity to do that - but they have not demonstrated any inclination to do so. Much hope is being placed in public-private partnerships that might see global pharmaceutical giants and national governments work together in solving public health crises (Bull and McNeill 65-70), but these policy plans are dependent on the convergence of state and industrial interests.

Globalization has given the top pharmaceutical industries the power to dominate not only health policy and pharmaceutical access for the whole world, but by extension also the ability to change perceptions of who is worth giving healthcare to and for what. At stake is the public health and cultural dignity of both the developed and developing nations, as well as hopes for future drug innovations of any significance.

Influence of globalization:

The impetus for the move of Swiss-based Roche's production centres for the antiviral drug Tamiflu to China's Shanghai Pharmaceutical Co. illustrates the influence of globalized drug makers on local, host country populations. Roche's Tamiflu has for years now been considered the "only defence the world currently has against the threatened [avian] flu pandemic," and governments, corporations, and individuals were at one point clamoring for stockpiles of the drug (Laurance 2005, CIDRAP News 2006). However, the production of Tamiflu was hampered by the low supply of star anise, which is a Chinese tea herb that had before been used as a traditional treatment for infant colic and as a cold medicine (Fong 2005). It was found that a chemical compound vital for Tamiflu synthesis could also be extracted from star anise in relatively high quantities, and during 2006's flu scare about 90% of the world's pharmaceutical star anise was coming from Guangzi Province in China (Garner-Wizard 2006).

Oguamanam points to the "stress" that "international economic and political forces" place upon local communities to "exploit their natural resources," and such was the case for star anise: national governments pressured Roche to increase supply to meet stockpiling need, and the demand was felt by Guangzi farmers who immediately planted more star anise trees to compensate (Oguamanam 55, Garner-Wizard 2006). Workers were paid only "about $3 a day to 6 scramble up the misty hills to pluck the fragrant pods" - a sum arguably more than the usual Chinese peasant subsists on, but still very low given the 34% increase in billion-dollar profits that Roche saw in 2007 (BBC, 2007). However, star anise trees take 6-10 years to bear fruit, and the industry has already moved on to forms of chemical extraction that would not require star anise (Garner-Wizard 2006). This will eradicate the 4-cents-a-pound market that Chinese peasants intended to satisfy with their investment into more star anise trees, leaving them penniless (Fong 2005). Roche will not assist them.

The whole idea is to compete more effectively offering a creation with good quality and very cost effective. The lessening of difficulties to international deal enables firms to make the world as their market. The lowering of barrier to trade and funds also allow firms to base production at the best position for that action. Thus, a firm might plan a product in one country, create a component parts in two other countries, assemble the product in another country and then export the finished product around the world. The lowering of trade barriers has facilitated the globalization of production.

It refers to the open market competition, considering no geographical barriers. It also passes on to the arranging of services from locations around the world to take benefit of national differences in the cost and quality and services of factors of production. The lowering of trade barriers has facilitated the globalization of production. The particulars also suggest that foreign direct venture is playing an increasing role in the global economy.

The lowering of barrier to trade and investments also allows firms to base production at the optimal location for that activity. It refers to the open market competition, considering no geographical barriers.

Consideration of the effects of globalizations on Roche, the benefits supersedes from the pitfalls. The only problem they faced is the open competition but this has not been a problem for them because of their goodwill, quality of the products. All other aspects of globalizations worked in favour of them.

Developments in information, communications and technology:

Roche have fully utilized technological changes and adapted very smoothly with it and as au outcome of it they have derived very good result out of it.


Switzerland's geographical position with its transit routes over the Alps made it a desirable possession for European great powers through the ages. Switzerland developed slowly over many centuries, as more and more regions came together to form a loose confederation whose members gave each other mutual support..

Therefore we can relate with the Roche in this way that the culture of Switzerland has also been favourable for the company. There were no substantial barriers from the Swiss regarding the acceptance of a foreign product and a foreign company which sometimes acts as one of the major barriers in case of accepting a company and its products from a foreign country which has been a very good strength for them.


Has not been a major issue which affected Roche that much. It was not a hindrance in the operation of business in the country.


Switzerland has a stable government and a diverse society. National elections typically produce only marginal changes in party representation. Switzerland has seen a gradual shift in the party landscape in recent years. The Constitution limits federal influence in the formulation of domestic policy and emphasizes the roles of private enterprise and cantonal government.


Switzerland has a civil law legal system. Therefore, enacted or written law is the primary source of law. 

As in all other civil law legal systems, Swiss law is divided into public and private law.

Private law governs the relationship between individuals. Intellectual property law (copyright, patents, trademarks, etc.) are also areas of private law. Labour law is governed by private and public law.

Roche was no exception and had to face the barriers from the concerned legal aspects. And accordingly they have customized their business and products in Switzerland.


In case of choice of the customers, the Roche did not face that much challenge because of its goodwill and exclusive quality of its products. Rather, I think it acted as a beneficial point on behalf of Roche because apart from the loyal customers of Roche, due to the changes in choice they gained more customers rather than losing. But they always had to face challenges from the other competitors in the market.

On the above aspects, we can assume that all of the above issues have been managed successfully by Roche. Not only that they successfully managed it, they have performed outstandingly, if we consider the whole of Europe. The reasons behind this success according to my opinion, has been their strong business network worldwide, excellent goodwill, and very good and proactive strategic decision making.


Roche is one of the pioneers in healthcare industry all over the world. Over a long period, this company has been producing innovative product and services for the treatment of diseases, diagnosis and prevention of diseases on a broad range to improve people's health and quality of life.

Being a highly developed country, and being in a very sensitive business like drugs and medicine, Roche have to be very careful and always on the toes regarding the consumer rights. Therefore compared to other regions, Roche is dedicated to meet higher ethical values and they are also loyal to the laws of wherever they do business, such as locally, nationally, internationally. Their corporate principles are also fixing with their ethical standards.

Globalization has been seen to be aiding the pharmaceutical industry in reducing production and R&D costs, despite continued assertions that those costs are extravagant and justify massive marketing expenditures that go on to net huge revenues.