Drug Retailers

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Current language: English
Drug Retailers industry entities operate retail pharmacies and distribution centres that supply retail stores. Stores may be entity-owned or franchised. Large entities source drugs and other merchandise through wholesalers and distributors. Consumer sales of prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical products generate a majority of the industry’s revenue; other goods sold include household goods, personal care products and a limited selection of groceries. Additionally, the pharmacy retailer segment is expanding its health-focused services by offering clinics at various retail locations, which may add to the industry’s shifting sustainability landscape.

Relevant Issues (4 of 26)

Why are some issues greyed out? The SASB Standards vary by industry based on the different sustainability-related risks and opportunities within an industry. The issues in grey were not identified during the standard-setting process as the most likely to be useful to investors, so they are not included in the Standard. Over time, as the ISSB continues to receive market feedback, some issues may be added or removed from the Standard. Each company determines which sustainability-related risks and opportunities are relevant to its business. The Standard is designed for the typical company in an industry, but individual companies may choose to report on different sustainability-related risks and opportunities based on their unique business model.
  • Environment
    • GHG Emissions
    • Air Quality
    • Energy Management The category addresses environmental impacts associated with energy consumption. It addresses the company’s management of energy in manufacturing and/or for provision of products and services derived from utility providers (grid energy) not owned or controlled by the company. More specifically, it includes management of energy efficiency and intensity, energy mix, as well as grid reliance. Upstream (e.g., suppliers) and downstream (e.g., product use) energy use is not included in the scope.
    • Water & Wastewater Management
    • Waste & Hazardous Materials Management
    • Ecological Impacts
  • Social Capital
    • Human Rights & Community Relations
    • Customer Privacy
    • Data Security The category addresses management of risks related to collection, retention, and use of sensitive, confidential, and/or proprietary customer or user data. It includes social issues that may arise from incidents such as data breaches in which personally identifiable information (PII) and other user or customer data may be exposed. It addresses a company’s strategy, policies, and practices related to IT infrastructure, staff training, record keeping, cooperation with law enforcement, and other mechanisms used to ensure security of customer or user data.
    • Access & Affordability
    • Product Quality & Safety The category addresses issues involving unintended characteristics of products sold or services provided that may create health or safety risks to end-users. It addresses a company’s ability to offer manufactured products and/or services that meet customer expectations with respect to their health and safety characteristics. It includes, but is not limited to, issues involving liability, management of recalls and market withdrawals, product testing, and chemicals/content/ingredient management in products.
    • Customer Welfare The category addresses customer welfare concerns over issues including, but not limited to, health and nutrition of foods and beverages, antibiotic use in animal production, and management of controlled substances. The category addresses the company’s ability to provide consumers with manufactured products and services that are aligned with societal expectations. It does not include issues directly related to quality and safety malfunctions of manufactured products and services, but instead addresses qualities inherent to the design and delivery of products and services where customer welfare may be in question. The scope of the category also captures companies’ ability to prevent counterfeit products.
    • Selling Practices & Product Labeling
  • Human Capital
    • Labor Practices
    • Employee Health & Safety
    • Employee Engagement, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Business Model and Innovation
    • Product Design & Lifecycle Management
    • Business Model Resilience
    • Supply Chain Management
    • Materials Sourcing & Efficiency
    • Physical Impacts of Climate Change
  • Leadership and Governance
    • Business Ethics
    • Competitive Behavior
    • Management of the Legal & Regulatory Environment
    • Critical Incident Risk Management
    • Systemic Risk Management

Disclosure Topics

What is the relationship between General Issue Category and Disclosure Topics? The General Issue Category is an industry-agnostic version of the Disclosure Topics that appear in each SASB Standard. Disclosure topics represent the industry-specific impacts of General Issue Categories. The industry-specific Disclosure Topics ensure each SASB Standard is tailored to the industry, while the General Issue Categories enable comparability across industries. For example, Health & Nutrition is a disclosure topic in the Non-Alcoholic Beverages industry, representing an industry-specific measure of the general issue of Customer Welfare. The issue of Customer Welfare, however, manifests as the Counterfeit Drugs disclosure topic in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals industry.
General Issue Category
(Industry agnostic)

Disclosure Topics (Industry specific) for: Drug Retailers

Energy Management
  • Energy Management in Retail

    Chain drug retailers operate thousands of locations that consume large quantities of energy. Electricity is used primarily for lighting and refrigeration. Many retail locations may operate 24 hours a day, thereby increasing energy demand. Operational energy efficiency and diversification among a range of energy supply sources may mitigate exposure to rising energy costs and limit an entity’s indirect greenhouse gas emissions.
Data Security
  • Data Security & Privacy

    Drug retailers, as distributors of prescription medication and operators of retail health clinics, have access to and manage protected health information. Entities often have a legal obligation to safeguard their customers’ information, a task that includes the proper handling of sensitive information by staff in pharmacies and clinics, as well as the safe storage of information on physical and electronic media. Cyberattacks may compromise health information that is stored electronically, along with customers’ financial and personal data. Drug retailers that prevent major data breaches, including point-of-sales breaches and cyber attacks, can avoid harming brand value, reduce contingent liabilities, and maintain market share.
Product Quality & Safety
  • Drug Supply Chain Integrity

    The drug retailer industry supply chain is long and complex, consisting of distribution networks between manufacturers and retailers. The ability of entities to ensure the quality and safety of pharmaceutical and healthcare products is critical to brand value. The industry faces risks associated with counterfeit drugs, and effective supply chain management is essential in mitigating these challenges. Drug retailers that fail to manage their supply chains may incur costs related to recalls, and such incidents may present significant risks to customers. The importance of this issue is elevated by the prevalence of store-brand products, which constitute a growing portion of drugstore sales.
Customer Welfare
  • Management of Controlled Substances

    Drug retailers are distributors and sellers of a wide variety of controlled substances. In the U.S., the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) defines requirements for recordkeeping, distribution, dispensing, disposal, and security of controlled substances. Within this industry, the high volumes of drugs processed and dispensed, along with the extensive retail and distribution networks of larger entities, heighten the risk of theft, loss, and illegal drug dispensing. These actions may result in adverse social externalities, including public health consequences related to drug abuse and the illicit drug trade. Drug retailers participate in statewide drug monitoring programs to help mitigate some of the social issues associated with dispensing controlled substances. Furthermore, regulatory enforcement of the CSA requirements can result in fines and license suspensions. Strong internal management of controlled substances can mitigate these risks and help protect shareholder value in the long term.
  • Patient Health Outcomes

    Drug retailers and pharmacists play an important role in the health care system, as they provide patients with medications and are often the last health care professionals to interact and engage with patients before medications are consumed. Drug retailers can enhance patient outcomes by improving communication, avoiding dispensing errors, and raising patients’ drug-adherence rates. Pharmacies have the opportunity to engage and educate patients on the importance of adhering to prescriptions, which provides beneficial outcomes for patients as well as for businesses. Entities that ensure the effective management of these interactions while working to avoid dispensing errors may be better positioned to protect shareholder value.

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Current Industry: Drug Retailers

Health Care
Consumer Goods
Extractives & Minerals Processing
Food & Beverage
Renewable Resources & Alternative Energy
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