Ensuring High Ethical Standards and Transparency in Business Activities

Ensuring High Ethical Standards and Transparency in Business Activities.

In order to maintain the trust of society, we promote business activities ensuring high ethical standards and transparency.

Initiatives to improve transparency

Pharmaceutical companies around the world are facing increased scrutiny of their data reliability in clinical trials and transparency for the relation between corporate activities and medical institutions. In addition to complying with laws and ordinances, Shionogi aims to maintain the trust of society by observing the industry’s self-imposed norms. As an additional measure, we have formulated original guidelines based on even higher ethical standards. Shionogi has formulated “Transparency Guidelines for the Relationship between Corporate Activities and Medical Institutions,” “Transparency Guidelines for the Relationship between Corporate Activities and Patient Associations,” and “The Shionogi Code of Practice,” in order to maintain high ethical standards and transparency. This includes the appropriate disclosure of funding provided to medical professionals and medical institutions.

Anti-Corruption/Anti-Bribery Initiatives

Shionogi established the Shionogi Group Anti-Corruption/Anti-Bribery Policy on April 1, 2014. In the same year, to enhance the effectiveness of the Policy, it conducted a questionnaire survey and interviews on all of its organizations and group companies to identify the risks of anti-corruption and anti-bribery problems. Reflecting the results of the surveys, the Guidelines for the Prevention of Corruption/Bribery for Shionogi Business Partners were formulated, which have been being applied to date.
Also, we periodically provide education mainly on the Unfair Competition Prevention Act (Article 18), the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the UK Anti-Bribery Act for all employees (including part-timers and contract employees). Departments that have many opportunities to come in contact with healthcare providers, who are quasi-government employees, are considered as high-risk organizations, and we conduct education for such departments concerning the Shionogi Prescription Drug Promotion Code and the like on a regular basis.
  • The rate of attendance of the education programs (online training) in fiscal 2019 was 99.1% on the Unfair Competition Prevention Act (Article 18), and 97.1% on the US FCPA and the UK Anti-Bribery Act.

R&D ethics

In the drug discovery research, Shionogi has a policy entitled “Ethical Considerations in Animal Experiments,” which sets out to ensure that proper consideration is given to animal welfare by scientifically verifying that animal-use protocols are in accordance with the internationally recognized “principles of the 3Rs (replacement with alternative methods, reduction in the use of laboratory animals, and refinement of methods for reducing pain).” To further enhance the quality of animal experimenters, Shionogi also conducts regular education and training sessions for the employees involved, on appropriate methods for animal experimentation as well as for the breeding and upkeep of experimental animals. 

In addition, in order to ensure the proper conduct of animal experiments, we have continuously acquired accreditation by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International), an international third-party assessment organization that promotes the humane care and use of laboratory animals.

When it comes to clinical development, Shionogi endeavors to ensure the safety of participants in clinical trials while also maintaining transparency through appropriate disclosure in accordance with our Clinical Trial Data Transparency Policy. 
We have also established Research Ethics Committee and Clinical Trial Ethics Committee, which are composed of external experts and representatives from the general public, to ensure that new drug R&D processes comply with ICH guidelines and the laws and regulations of each testing country, and are scientifically and medically implemented under ethical consideration.

Operation and Management of Public Research Expenses and Initiatives against Research Improprieties

Shionogi has established rules for the operation and management of public research expenses and the prevention of research improprieties in accordance with the Guidelines for Management and Auditing of Public Research Expenses at Research Institutes and the Guidelines for Response to Improper Conducts in Research Activities established by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Based on these regulations, the system is defined as follows.
  • Chief Administrator: President (Compliance Committee chairperson)
  • Chief Administrator: Director of Promotion of CSR (Executive Director of Compliance Committee)
  • Director of Research Ethics Education: Head of each organization related to public research expenditure
The chief officer will lead our group compliance policy and regulations to promote research fraud prevention.

Internal reporting system

Shionogi has established an internal reporting system comprising an internal reporting desk and an external reporting desk. We are making every effort to have this system known and used not just by employees but also by third parties, to promote the early discovery as well as prevention and amelioration of compliance violations.
To provide an avenue for consultation on compliance issues, Shionogi furthermore provides all directors and employees with emergency and helpline contact details including those for the reporting desks.