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:
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.
Transparency is a critical part of our ongoing collaboration with key stakeholders, helping to build a community of trust and respect with our employees, patients, healthcare professionals, industry peers, stockholders and the overall community. Biogen is committed to transparency and disclosure of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues that are material to the business and of interest to our stakeholders. Read the latest ESG Report and past reports:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Building on our longstanding expectations of and engagement with key suppliers around a variety of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, in 2020 we committed to creating a Responsible Sourcing Program that will enhance our ESG oversight of and collaboration with our suppliers at all levels. Read our 2023 Responsible and Ethical Supply Chain Statement.
Our Code of Business Conduct, Human 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.
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.
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.
Biogen welcomes all job applicants, and we strive to provide all employees with equal opportunity for advancement. We will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment based on an individual’s sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, religion, age, veteran status, disability, genetic information or any other basis protected by local government agencies or law.
As an employer of choice, we strive to:
- Provide attractive employment opportunities for diverse candidates at all levels and in all segments of our organization.
- Pursue and maintain relationships with sources of diverse candidates, community organizations and academic institutions.
- Comply with both the letter and the spirit of all applicable laws and regulations relating to nondiscrimination and affirmative action in employment.
- Ensure that all individuals are compensated equitably for similar work and have an equal opportunity to contribute and advance in the workplace.
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.
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.
We are committed to sharing information about our clinical research with patients and researchers to enhance public health.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
As a responsible biotechnology company committed to improving human health, Biogen has aligned our climate approach 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.
We aim to improve energy efficiency, reduce GHG emissions across our operations and work with global organizations to support environmental goals and improve health. Our carbon reduction plan outlines our progress and methods to reduce our emissions across our operations and to support our suppliers in their efforts to increase efficiency.
Our goal is to create a healthier, more sustainable and equitable future.
Biogen appreciates the importance of biodiversity to our stakeholders and our business, as a broad range of natural resources and raw materials 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 part of Biogen’s longstanding commitment to human and environmental health, we believe that it is critical to protect biodiversity at the genetic, species and ecosystem level. We support the goals of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, including the conservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of natural resources and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.
Biogen operates in accordance with local laws and is taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, including locating our operations outside of biodiverse areas of global or national importance. As habitat loss is a particular threat to biodiversity, we are also undertaking efforts to minimize our potential impact on forests and watersheds, and to help address the climate crisis, which also puts pressure on fragile ecosystems that are key to human and planetary health.
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.
The Company’s Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws, together with our corporate governance principles, provide the framework for the corporate governance of Biogen.
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.
Our materiality assessment is conducted based on the principle of double materiality, focusing on issues that have a significant impact on both society or the environment, as well as our company's value drivers. The strategy for Biogen's materiality assessment process is informed by senior management, with findings presented to executives as well as the Board of Directors.
Soph Sophocles, Biogen’s Chief Compliance Officer, is our highest-ranking person with enterprise risk management (ERM) responsibilities. Sophocles reports to Susan Alexander, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, who reports to CEO Chris Viehbacher. In 2022, John McFadden III, Senior Director of Security, Business Continuity and Crisis Planning, is our highest-ranking person with responsibility for monitoring and auditing risk management. McFadden reports to Daniel Biran, Head of Global Security, who reports to Nicole Murphy, Head of Pharmaceutical Operations & Technology, who reports to CEO Chris Viehbacher. There are four non-executive members of the board of directors/supervisory board with expertise in (enterprise) risk management.
Risk education and risk assessments are presented to the board through the ERM and the Audit Committees. The ERM Committee, with oversight from McFadden, is responsible for conducting annual risk assessments that identify the top risks the company faces and charged with handling crisis events such as the global pandemic response for the company. They also ensure that when risk events occur, such as natural disasters, acts of terrorism and related events, those events are handled appropriately, plans are in place to address business continuity risk, and such events are escalated to the EC and the board for awareness or strategic management as appropriate.
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.
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.