Working with third parties

We work with thousands of third parties across all areas of our business. On this page we detail our third-party policies and practices.

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Our suppliers and other third parties – including agents, distributors and affiliate companies (where we have an equity stake) – help us research, develop, manufacture and distribute the medicines, vaccines and other products that patients need.

Choosing the right suppliers

GSK’s supply chains are complex and have significant scale – we spend billions of pounds with tens of thousands of suppliers on a wide range of goods and services. It is essential that we have strong relationships with suppliers and third parties that are critical to our business and work with those that share our values and operate in a responsible and ethical way.

How our third parties act can have a direct impact on us meeting our priorities. It is important to manage our relationships with them well, including the way we choose, contract and monitor them.

Selecting suppliers that can ensure a continuous supply of materials of the appropriate quality is critical, as is controlling the conditions in which products are transported. Maintaining resilient supply chains is particularly important because changing suppliers - especially those that are part of a regulatory dossier - can be complex, slow and expensive.

Our Working with Third Parties policy

The standards we expect of suppliers are set out as principles in our Working with Third Parties policy. All third parties must meet our anti-bribery and corruption and labour rights standards and, where relevant, we expect them to comply with our standards on quality, health and safety, and the environment.


Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) programme

Our Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) programme evaluates and mitigates the risks introduced through engaging third parties to provide goods or services for GSK. We complete assessments for the portion of our third parties that may present greater potential risk, for example, interactions with government officials or annual transfers of value above certain pre-defined limits.

Additional support

We give extra support to our suppliers who are active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) suppliers with whom we have significant spend, and/or are medically or R&D critical to the business. We visit sites, in person or virtually, to help suppliers better understand and control their risks. These site visits are carried out by GSK as well as independent, accredited, third party auditing bodies. We also use tools to assess how suppliers manage EHS risks, including EcoVadis desktop assessments. We set EHS requirements for suppliers, tell them when they fall short, and review their EHS performance, and support them in implementing their action plans, as part of our internal EHS governance and oversight.

We also help suppliers improve safety and overall capability, focusing mainly on Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) manufacturers and contract manufacturing suppliers. We have also trained suppliers on EHS topics, revised EHS contractual obligations and tracked management actions until they were completed.

Paying our suppliers

We have a responsibility to support our suppliers by paying on time. We have put in place an exception to our standard payment terms for small and medium-sized companies in the UK, and small diverse suppliers in the USA. 

You can find out more about this initiative on the getting paid section of our supplier website. We have a number of other initiatives underway to continuously improve the experience of suppliers who work with us. As part of our commitment to diversity and inclusion, in the UK and US we support suppliers by groups that are under-represented in the supply chain; such as those owned by women, minorities and disabled veterans. Through our supplier diversity programmes, we engage with and mentor small and diverse businesses in our supply chain and help them identify potential areas for growth.