Lilly is one of the first pharmaceutical companies to have established a standing bioethics committee and later a dedicated bioethics program, which devotes full-time resources to the area. The program is an independent organizational unit within Lilly with a senior leader, full-time staff, a committee comprising internal and external members, and an employee network committed to bioethics development.

The program is designed to address the increasingly complex and fast-paced ethical challenges of global pharmaceutical Research & Development (R&D). Its purpose is to advance excellence in pharmaceutical bioethics in order to protect and advocate for:

  • the rights and well-being of human research participants and patients, and
  • the integrity of the scientific process and its applications for health care.

The program assists employees in identifying and addressing bioethical issues through four core activities: developing the company’s positions on key bioethics topics, consulting on specific bioethics challenges, educating and training, and collaborating on internal and external projects.

Lilly’s Bioethics Framework for Human Biomedical Research guides employee discussions about the ethics of Lilly research. To ensure all employees are well-versed in Lilly’s values and bioethics concepts, Lilly offers numerous activities in which employees can be involved throughout the year, including lectures, seminars and case discussions, as well as formal training.

For Lilly’s bioethics position on key topics, click on the following statements: