Biogen Idec strives to provide accurate information, presented in an honest and clear manner, and to price our therapies fairly.
We are committed to providing information that is accurate, supported by scientific evidence and presented honestly and fairly in every context. Our interactions with patients and healthcare providers are governed by laws and regulations, as well as our Code of Business Conduct and our Comprehensive Compliance Program. All applicable employees receive regular training and education programs regarding our marketing policies and practices.
We revised our Code of Business Conduct in 2010 to, among other things, update and improve on our policies regarding product information and promotion, as well as our interactions with healthcare professionals and organizations. In 2010 and 2011, all applicable employees were required to take part in online and hands-on training, which used real-world examples to help bring these policies to life.
We aim to ensure that all of our marketing materials are created and communicated in an ethical and responsible manner. Our Product Review Committees are responsible for reviewing and approving marketing materials before they are distributed publicly. We evaluated our global marketing materials review process in 2010 to determine how we could improve our practices and enhance consistency throughout our communications. As a result, we adopted a global policy that identifies general principles to be incorporated when global promotional materials are created, as well as a new standard operating procedure (SOP) to be implemented by all Biogen Idec country offices. Applicable employees at each affiliate office received training on this new SOP in 2011.
In setting prices for our products, we work hard to find a responsible balance between commerce and citizenship. This requires ensuring that patients have access to the therapies of today, while also ensuring our ability to invest in the innovations of tomorrow.
We believe the evaluation of a medicine’s value must deliver a reasonable balance between the interests of payers, patients, physicians and industry. Our pricing committee oversees all aspects of our pricing policies and the sale of our products, including pricing provisions and discounts. The committee develops pricing guidelines and meets periodically to assess and update them, as necessary.
The prices of our products, AVONEX®, TYSABRI® and FAMPYRA® (prolonged-release fampridine tablets), reflect their relative value and positions within an increasingly competitive marketplace. In order to continue to advance the development of new breakthrough therapies that have the potential to improve the lives of patients with diseases in neurology, immunology and hemophilia, we must continually invest our resources and revenues in research and development.
We also make meaningful investments to support patients in need. Our patient services operation provides a variety of support services for patients, such as insurance counseling and, where allowed by local law, financial assistance, including treatments at no cost through our ActiveAccessTM program. Our philosophy is to ensure that no patient goes without a Biogen Idec therapy due to an inability to pay.