AAP/Press Association Images The chief executive of Reynolds, Philip Hammond, said his company’s health strategy was to keep it small and focused.
“Our approach to healthcare is not to scale up or scale down,” he said.
He said the company was also working to reduce its workforce and said it would invest more in research and development.
“Our commitment to health is to be small and smart,” he told reporters in a statement.
Dr Hammond said Reynolds planned to use its research, development and marketing resources to develop drugs that had broad clinical applications, and to develop new treatments for pain and other conditions.
He said he expected the company’s quarterly results to show a steady decline in revenue from the tobacco and other industries.
He added that the company had spent around $2 billion on research and innovation over the past three years, and expected to spend around $5 billion in the coming year.
The company is also investing in research to improve the quality of life of its employees and patients, he said, and was also exploring the use of new technology.
“We are very committed to improving health in the workforce and our patients,” he added.
“But we also want to make sure that we are also delivering value to our shareholders.”
Dr Ian Foulkes, chief executive officer of the Australian Pharmaceuticals Association, welcomed the announcement, and said the ACCC had given it good reasons to be optimistic about the company.
“The ACCC is now looking at Reynolds’ plans to take advantage of the health and wellbeing gains of its tobacco business to build a healthy workforce and provide a sustainable profit,” he wrote in a blog.
Mr Foulke said the companies strategy would focus on its tobacco company, which was facing a significant decline in its profitability.
We’re confident the ACCCs findings will be supported by the ACC CBA, which we believe is now an achievable target.
However, he warned the ACCCA would not accept the new plan without a plan to reduce the size of its board.
Last year the ACCAC issued a warning to tobacco companies and urged them to consider how they could reduce the risk of workplace accidents, which had been rising in Australia.
It also warned against the use, or distribution, of nicotine-laced products.
“If there is a risk to the health of the tobacco workers who are working in the workplace, the tobacco industry must consider how it can reduce the level of nicotine in its products,” the ACC said.
“To do this it will need to develop a comprehensive plan to control nicotine exposure to tobacco workers, including through a change in the way tobacco is sold and marketed.”
The ACC said it was concerned that the tobacco companies plans to increase the number of employees in its boardroom were at odds with its advice.
“It is imperative that the ACC do not allow a tobacco company to increase its board to an excessive number of directors in its corporate plan,” the report said.
Mr Hammond said the industry had already been “initiating a comprehensive process” to address the issue, and the ACC was providing more advice to ensure it was working on a sustainable path.
“There are other options for tobacco companies to make this work,” he continued.
“They can increase their workforce and their workforce numbers, or they can find ways of reducing their exposure to nicotine.”
The ACCCA has already called for tobacco industry companies to have more than 50% of the board made up of people with a relevant medical qualification, with no more than three individuals with no relevant medical qualifications.