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. In 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 a number of existing policies in Lundbeck. For our responsibility as an employer Lundbeck follows a Diversity Policy, Policy on Gender in Management, Human Capital Development Policy and Recruitment Policy, in addition to any applicable legislation in the countries that we operate. Our Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct express our positions and operating principles, for example on human rights in relation to patients, clinical trial participants and employees. Our Purchasing Policy and additional guidance on evaluating suppliers and partners also address human rights in our value chain.
AACTIONS AND RESULTS IN 2013
Access to health
Lundbeck agrees with the World Health Organization that ‘the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being’.
As a one of the few pharmaceutical companies specialising in the treatment of brain disease, Lundbeck has the opportunity to address human rights on a larger scale through promoting access to health within brain disease. The disease area continues to be surrounded by stigma and significant barriers to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and the lack of general public awareness.
Lundbeck has for many years promoted access to health through the Lundbeck Institute providing medical education from leading medical experts to healthcare professionals. Also donations are provided from headquarters as well as locally to support various healthcare initiatives.
In 2012 we started a process to define Lundbeck’s position and ambitions on access to health. The first step was an access to health strategy. This year we have started putting our access to health strategy into practice and have made concrete progress. We have mapped our current business practices in selected areas to understand what we are already doing to improve access to health, and where we could do more, resulting in a first snapshot of existing initiatives. Initially, we planned to define a corporate access to health project based on existing initiatives during 2013. However, a decision has been made to rather propose a project of a different scope; a study to investigate barriers to health in brain disease, which we will define and scope in 2014. We will also communicate more extensively about Lundbeck’s approach to access to health and concrete actions based on updated priorities, thereby contributing to increase awareness of access to health internally and externally.
Defining overall approach to donations
Lundbeck has started an initiative to deliver a more specific corporate guideline on our approach to donations. Providing donations such as financial support, in-kind services, drug compounds for research purposes or medicinal products are part of Lundbeck’s social engagement aiming to benefit patients, healthcare, research or provide modest charity to the local community. Lundbeck defines donations as an act of giving that is made without the expectation of receiving favours or other advantages in return, and we provide such donations in a transparent way. The aim of the guideline, which will be finalised in 2014, is to strengthen internal donation processes and ensure alignment with the requirements of tightened global codes such as the IFPMA Code of Practice and EFPIA Codes governing disclosure, interactions with healthcare professionals and relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and patient organisations.
Raising awareness with Progress in Mind
We recognize that Lundbeck has an opportunity to address the growing burden of disease resulting from inadequate treatment, discrimination, reduced number of working days, early retirement and other unnecessary but documented consequences of living with brain disease. Barriers to health are significant but not fully understood. In the coming years Lundbeck will initiate a range of activities that aim to communicate, initiate dialogue, create knowledge and raise awareness on the burden of brain disease, which relate to access to health, but also go beyond this. We call this initiative Progress in Mind. In connection with Lundbeck’s 100th birthday in 2015, a range of initiatives to raise awareness will be planned involving internal and external stakeholders.
APPLYING HUMAN RIGHTS FRAMEWORK
Since its publication in 2011, Lundbeck has taken an interest in working with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. For example the framework has inspired how we evaluate suppliers and partners on human rights and has led us to integrate human rights into our due diligence process. In the coming years, Lundbeck plans to use the framework to develop an internal human rights due diligence process as well.
Lundbeck benefits from participating in networks that address and further a common understanding of business and human rights. In particular, we are a member of the UN Global Compact Nordic Network as well as the cross-sector initiative, Network for Business and Human Rights facilitated by the Institute for Business and Human Rights.
The UN global compact human rights priciples
‘Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses’