Healthy Communities Start at Home

Associate General Counsel Thomas McDonough on his unique path to law and his efforts to improve the well-being of all employees at pharmaceutical giant Teva Pharmaceuticals

Teva Pharmaceuticals is known the world over for improving patients’ lives and fostering healthy communities. But Thomas McDonough, the company’s associate general counsel of employment, labor, and benefits, knows that creating healthy and responsible communities has to start in the halls of Teva itself. For ten years, he has worked to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of all Teva employees.

McDonough has had a “unique” path to his current position, he says. After completing an economics degree at Hamilton College in 1990, the AGC enrolled in an MPA program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he focused his studies on policy analysis. Thus, McDonough was already in his thirties by the time he received his JD from Temple University School of Law in 1998.

Despite being marked as a latecomer to the legal world, McDonough quickly established a name for himself in the industry. Soon after graduating from law school, he secured a position as an attorney at Wolf Block, one of the largest firms in the United States and one of Philadelphia’s oldest and most respected law firms.

McDonough returned to Wolf Block in 2004 following a yearlong stint as a law clerk for the United States District Court in Pennsylvania and a two-year tenure as an attorney at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. And it was at Wolf Block, as he began overseeing more and more cases related to labor and employment law, that McDonough found his passion.

To McDonough’s mind, labor and employment law is one of the most challenging and intriguing practice areas that an attorney can specialize in. It serves as an intersection between the law and human issues, he says, and therefore encompasses two of the most complex areas of work in the world.

In 2010, McDonough’s expertise in labor and employment law earned him an invitation to join the legal team at Teva Pharmaceuticals as the department’s first full-time employment attorney. One of the foremost pharmaceuticals in the world, Teva Pharmaceuticals is known for producing both generic and specialty medical products.

For more than one hundred years, Teva has striven to enhance the lives of patients and caregivers everywhere. And in the ten years since he started as associate general counsel, McDonough has helped ensure that Teva’s own employees receive that same level of care.

In fact, in In 2018, Teva received the EcoVadis Silver Medal in light of the efforts of leaders like McDonough to improve company-wide labor and human rights practices. This medal distinguishes Teva as being in the top 16 percent of pharmaceutical companies in the world and encourages other pharmaceutical companies to emulate the high standards that Teva has set in terms of employee safety and well-being.

To be sure, it would seem that other attorneys working in the labor, employment, and employee benefits space have much to learn from McDonough as well.

Teva Leads the Way

 3,5000 products included in Teva’s portfolio

200 million people benefit from Teva’s medicines each day

$380+ worth of medicines donated to patients across the globe

23 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2012

220,000 packs of antibiotics supplied to people in more than sixty countries