Principles, Policies & Positions

We work to create advances in healthcare through pioneering research and global development, manufacturing and commercial capabilities, and upholding our commitment to ethical conduct and overall corporate responsibility. This commitment is grounded in our Code of Business Conduct, which applies to all employees, agents and consultants acting on behalf of Biogen and affiliates worldwide. We also are guided by a range of principles, policies and positions, and other statements on ethical business conduct, compliance, accountability and transparency, among other topics, including:

 

Code of Business Conduct

Our Code of Business Conduct provides guidance on making the right ethical decisions while conducting business on behalf of Biogen. It helps establish the principles and practices of ethical business to which we expect all of our suppliers, business partners and employees to adhere. Our clinical research and other ethical standards for our employees and business partners are included in the Code of Business Conduct.

 

Elements of Our Culture

Much like the periodic table of elements documents the building blocks of the universe around us, the Biogen Elements give shape to our company’s culture. They include fundamentals like a pioneering spirit, strong ethics, personal accountability, inclusivity, agility and an unwavering customer focus.

 

Product Stewardship

We comply with applicable regulations and work to minimize adverse health, safety, environmental and social impacts of our products, and we do this while working to maximize their benefits and value through their full life cycle. One example of our efforts in this area is that we are investing in serialization technology to make our product more difficult to counterfeit, with the goal of improving patient safety and health outcomes.

 

Patient Safety

Patient safety is our highest priority and we are committed to complete and timely evaluation of the benefits and risks of our therapies and to communicating this information to help patients and healthcare professionals make informed treatment decisions. We take seriously our ethical and regulatory responsibility to continually assess and communicate the benefits and risks of our products and investigational therapies to patients, healthcare professionals and regulators.

 

Global Privacy Program

We respect the privacy and safeguard the security of the personal information we collect. Doing so is fundamental to our commitment to patients, healthcare professionals, business partners, employees and the communities we serve.

 

Pricing Principles

We recognize that access and the price of our medicines are of interest to a variety of stakeholders, including patients, providers, payers and policy makers. We work collaboratively to help ensure that patients are not denied access to life-changing therapies, and we are guided by the following principles:

  • Value to Patients
  • Present and Future Benefit to Society
  • Fulfilling our Commitment to Innovation
  • Evolution toward Value Based Care
  • Affordability and Sustainability

We regularly review our pricing strategy and prioritize patient access to our therapies. Value-based contracts we have engaged in are designed to align the price of our therapies to the value our therapies deliver to patients, providers and society and will maximize the benefit of our therapies. Learn more about our pricing principles.

 

Responsible and Ethical Supply Chain

Our Code of Business ConductHuman Rights Position Statement and Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement establish the principles and practices of ethical business, which we expect all of our employees, suppliers and business partners to follow. In addition, our commitment to inclusive sourcing and procurement practices is represented in our supplier diversity program.

 

Human Rights Position Statement

Biogen respects fundamental human rights and believes that every individual deserves to be treated fairly and with dignity. Biogen is committed to supporting internationally recognized fundamental human rights activities and initiatives.

 

Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

At Biogen, we are committed to upholding human rights and ensuring that modern slavery (in all its forms) is not tolerated within our global business or our supply chain. We have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery wherever we conduct business around the world

 

Philosophy on Pay Equity

Biogen is committed to ensuring our employees receive equal pay for equal work. Biogen establishes components and ranges of compensation based on market and benchmark data. Within this context, we strive to pay all employees equitably within a reasonable range, taking into consideration factors such as role; market data; internal equity; job location; relevant experience; and individual, business unit and company performance.​ Biogen regularly reviews compensation practices and analyzes the equity of compensation decisions, for individual employees and our workforce as a whole. If we identify employees with pay gaps, we review and take appropriate action to ensure fidelity between our stated philosophy and actions. ​We institute measures, such as communications and trainings to interrupt and prevent bias in hiring, performance management, and compensation decisions and provide resources to further develop managers and leaders to help them make equitable decisions about pay.

 

Transparency in Reporting

Biogen is committed to meeting its global transparency reporting requirements. We believe transparency is an important part of our ongoing collaboration with the healthcare community, helping to build a community of trust and respect with healthcare professionals, patients, industry peers, stockholders and the public.

 

Clinical Trial Transparency and Data Sharing

We are committed to sharing information about our clinical research with patients and researchers to enhance public health.

 

Supplier Diversity – Working with Us

We believe that working with small and diverse suppliers supports economic growth, fosters innovation and enables us to achieve a competitive advantage globally. Our supplier diversity program ensures that small and diverse business enterprises have an equitable opportunity to compete for Biogen’s business. As such, supplier diversity is integrated into our procurement procedures. Our Supplier Diversity Program includes minority-, women-, veteran-, service-disabled veteran-, lesbian-, gay-, bisexual-, transgender- and disability-owned business enterprises and small businesses as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

 

Clinical Research and Bioethics

We are committed to the safe and ethical use of biotechnology to improve the quality of human life, and we recognize that we must approach this continually advancing technology with a balance of vigilance, diligence and humility. Our approach to bioethics within our Code of Business Conduct is informed by the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s (BIO) guidance, including a respect for the potential significant benefits of biotechnology and a commitment to use it only for the benefit of humankind. We are sensitive to the perspectives of various stakeholders, and welcome reasoned dialogue and appropriate industry safeguards for appropriate use of biotechnology.

Our highest priorities in the discovery, development and use of our products is human health, safety and being sensitive to potential environmental impacts. We comply with all applicable laws regarding biotechnology research and development. We support and implement strong ethical practices in our clinical research, including strict informed consent procedures, strong protection of the confidentiality of medical and genetic information and strict protocols for clinical study execution. Our clinical research and other ethical standards for our employees and business partners are included in our Code of Business Conduct.

 

Stem Cells

As many medical breakthroughs have come from the use of animal and human embryonic stem cells, leading to significant human health benefits, Biogen, at times, makes use of stem cells in our research. We are sensitive to the important social and ethical issues regarding stem cell research and adhere to all related laws and regulations, and our own internal research policies. Biogen incorporates the guidelines of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in this work, and we expect contract organizations or research affiliates to adhere to these laws, regulations and guidelines as well.  

At times, based on the requirements of our research, Biogen does make use of various well-established immortalized stem cell lines, which do not require any additional fetal tissue.

Biogen does not make use of human embryonic stem cells. We oppose the use of stem cells for human reproductive cloning, and we oppose the use of any form of biotechnology for the purposes of harming humans, crops or livestock.

 

Research Collaborations

We are committed to bringing novel therapies to market and focusing on hard-to-treat disease areas with significant unmet medical needs. As this challenge is often bigger than any individual company, we work with collaboration partners in both the public and private sectors to harness the latest advances in science and technology.

 

Animal Welfare

In fulfilling our mission to improve human health worldwide through the discovery of therapeutic compounds, and to ensure their efficacy and safety for human use, Biogen is at times required by standards of scientific best practice, or by government agencies charged with the protection of public health, to conduct or sponsor research that uses animals. When required to conduct or sponsor research that uses animals, Biogen adheres to applicable national and international laws, policies and guidelines on the responsible and humane treatment of animals used in research, including but not limited to the Animal Welfare Act, the U.S. Public Health Service Policy, the National Institutes of Health the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and Cambridge Laboratory Ordinance (1086, Ch. 6.12), and is accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC). For a list of applicable regulations, visit aaalac.org.

Biogen does use transgenic animals to optimize translatability of animal models to human diseases.

 

Sustainability Policy

Sustainability at Biogen stems from our commitment to both innovation and ethical conduct. By continually expanding our approach to sustainability and encompassing economic, social and environmental factors, we believe we will build a stronger, more vital company capable of making new discoveries that could improve the lives of many more people in the future.

 

Climate Change Position Statement

As a responsible biotechnology company committed to improving human health, Biogen has aligned our climate approach and strategy, Healthy Climate, Healthy LivesTM, with guidance on the scale of action needed to limit warming to no more than 1.5°C. We are advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. At the same time, we promote SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.

Healthy Climate, Healthy Lives goes far beyond our previous 2014 carbon neutral commitment. With this initiative, we aim to eliminate fossil fuels across our operations and work with global organizations to advance the science and improve health, starting with the elimination of fossil fuel combustion across our global operations by 2040.

Our goal is to create an equitable future where everyone enjoys a healthy climate and a healthy life.

 

Biodiversity

As part of Biogen’s longstanding commitment to human and environmental health, we believe that it is critical to protect biodiversity—the variability among living organisms and the ecosystems of which they are part. We are acutely aware of the importance of biodiversity to our business, as a broad range of natural resources are often required for developing new therapies that can promote human health. We also understand that our consumption of natural resources may impact the ecosystems from which they are drawn. As such, Biogen supports the goals of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, including the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of biodiversity and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

 

Comprehensive Compliance Program

To conduct our business with the highest level of integrity, we have established and maintain a comprehensive compliance program in accordance with the laws of our industry and the “Program Guidance for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers” published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Corporate Governance Principles

The Company’s Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws, together with our corporate governance principles, provide the framework for the corporate governance of Biogen.

 

Environmental, Health and Safety Policy

Our Environmental, Health and Safety Policy Statement sets forth our commitment to provide and maintain a healthful and safe work environment and to minimize the impact of our business operations and products on the environment.

 

Political Contributions Policy

Our political contributions policy outlines Biogen’s participation in the political and legislative processes.

 

Global Tax Policy

Biogen’s Global Tax Policy outlines Biogen’s global approach to taxation. The overall goal of the tax policy is to support Biogen’s business by maintaining a sustainable tax rate while complying with tax law and regulations, and mitigating tax risks in the jurisdictions in which we operate. The global tax strategy and its underlying principles guide the decisions Biogen makes relating to corporate tax matters.

 

UK Tax Strategy

This UK tax strategy applies to all Biogen UK entities and its publication is regarded as satisfying the statutory obligation under paragraph 19(2), Schedule 19 of the UK Finance Act 2016, for all the Biogen UK entities. The overall goal of Biogen’s tax policy is to support its business by maintaining a sustainable tax rate while complying with tax law and regulations and mitigating tax risks in the jurisdictions in which we operate.