Pharmaceutical giant Sanofi has been in the news recently. It is investigating whether its international affiliates may have made improper payments to doctors. But thanks to some excellent crisis management, headlines are focusing on how Sanofi is handling the issue instead of on possible wrongdoings.
I contributed to this piece, published today on The Wall Street Journal’s website, that examines Sanofi’s response in more detail. Other major pharmas, including Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, have faced similar issues. Sanofi, however, has distinguished itself with a proactive approach to reputation management.
These situations serve not only as examples of how crises unfold in the Internet age. They also illustrate a type of problem that can be difficult to avoid in a global economy: in other countries, payments we would consider bribes are seen as simply a cost of doing business. International industry has not found a way to resolve those cultural dissonances…but Sanofi has demonstrated one way to manage the crises they produce.