Our access to health initiatives, donations and awareness raising of brain disease represent Lundbeck’s contribution to addressing health as a human right.
Lundbeck agrees that businesses have a responsibility to respect human rights and act in accordance with internationally applicable human rights standards, such as the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights. At Lundbeck, we are committed to address human rights concerns if they arise as a consequence of our own actions or of partners that we work with.
Human rights considerations are addressed in several of Lundbeck’s policies, which relates to different stakeholders. For instance our Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct sets out the principles for respecting the rights of patients and participants in clinical trials, while our Diversity Policy and Recruitment Policy addresses discrimination in relation to our employees, and our Purchasing Policy includes respect for human rights in relation to our suppliers and partners.
ACCESS TO HEALTH
People living with brain disease experience significant barriers to health. The lack of safe and effective medical treatment is one barrier, which Lundbeck is trying to address through the discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of medical products. In this way Lundbeck creates value for patients, society and our owners.
However, patients with brain disease may experience several other barriers to health. These barriers could include limited understanding of the biology behind brain disease, poor diagnosis, inadequate healthcare infrastructure, limited public awareness of brain disease, stigma and discrimination. The barriers all relate to the lack of knowledge, and as a specialist in brain disease Lundbeck is in a unique position to make a difference.
During 2014, we continued executing actions according to our Access to Health Strategy. The actions were primarily focused on raising awareness of brain diseases and establishing a global donation guideline.
Overall, donations from Lundbeck aim to improve the quality of life of people living with brain disease. Donations may take the form of financial and in-kind support, compounds for research purposes or medicinal products. The guideline aims to ensure that donations made by Lundbeck are documented and provided in a transparent manner and in compliance with relevant international standards and good practice. As an example, we may donate Lundbeck compounds for research purposes upon request by investigators. Through these donations we aim to allow easier access to specific compounds in our possession and thereby promote science in general and drug discovery in particular. When Lundbeck compounds are donated, the recipient must sign an agreement that specifies the requirements on both parties, including that Lundbeck will not obtain any rights to results or inventions derived from the research done as a result of the donation. The global guideline will be communicated and implemented during 2015 in all areas that provide donations.
PUTTING BRAIN DISEASE ON THE AGENDA
To raise awareness and prevent stigmatization, we use our voice as specialists in brain disease and share our knowledge about unmet needs in the treatment of brain disease. We reach into both professional and patient communities to offer disease education and support programmes to health care professionals, patients and their families. Our global presence enables us to let successful, local initiatives travel the world and make a difference to patients in other countries. During 2014, we engaged in a number of activities supporting the message of ‘Progress in Mind’:
- We hosted a patient advocacy summit for European and global patient organizations. At the summit, communication tools were shared to effectively increase the impact of and accommodate the challenges in the patient organizations’ work to increase awareness of their disease areas
- Lundbeck and the UK-based magazine The Economist put depression on the global mental health agenda. More than three hundred delegates including key politicians, thought leaders, employers, patient groups from around the world and healthcare decision makers participated in a one-day conference. Previous UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke to the human rights violation it is when hundreds of millions of people are being denied treatment for depression. The report from the conference is available on www.lundbeck.com
- For the second year in a row, Lundbeck joined forces with partners and patient organizations during this year’s Awareness Week on Alcohol Related Harm (AWARH) in November. As a member of the Roundtable of Alcohol Related Harm, Lundbeck has been a key player in establishing the AWARH initiative, which is a great opportunity for communicating and creating support for our work against alcohol dependence
- On this year’s World Mental Health Day, Lundbeck launched in collaboration with European Federation of Families of People with Mental Illness (EUFAMI) and the University of Leuven the largest-ever global survey of carers to people with schizophrenia. By making this survey possible, Lundbeck contributed to emphasize the continued need for improving the lives of people living with schizophrenia and their caregivers
In the coming years, Lundbeck will be initiating a wide range of activities to promote ‘Progress in Mind’. The activities will be centred around four main stakeholder groups who play a key role in reducing specific barriers to health as illustrated in the model below.
The UN global compact human rights priciples
Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights;
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses’