Position on Human Rights
Astellas’ raison d'être is to contribute toward improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. Astellas believes that the rights and dignity of people using our products both during and after development are paramount. Astellas recognizes that the company has a responsibility to respect human rights of our stakeholders.
Astellas is committed to respecting the human rights of all people (inside and outside the company) and upholding high labor standards. Wherever we operate, we comply with internationally-recognized basic human rights and labor standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and those articulated in the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact, as well as applicable local labor and employment laws. In addition, we expect our business partners to meet basic human rights and labor standards.
Astellas is also committed to implementing and upholding the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The UNGPs clarify that states have a duty to protect the human rights of all people and corporations have a responsibility to respect these rights. When violations of these rights occur, a joint responsibility requires victims to have access to effective remedies (judicial and non-judicial).
1. Human Rights to Which Astellas Pays Particular Attention
While Astellas is committed to respecting all human rights, we pay particular attention to the rights on which our business activities can have the greatest impact:
- Product Safety and Counterfeit Drugs
Astellas ensures an uninterrupted supply of high-quality products for our patients around the world. We maintain strict product quality standards and a robust supply chain across the world to ensure the efficacy, safety and supply of our products. Our efforts toward patient safety also include implementing appropriate measures against medical errors and drug counterfeiting.
In recognition that the safety profile of medicines can continue evolving post marketing, we are also dedicated to monitoring the safety of our products continuously throughout their lifecycles. We collect, evaluate, and timely report product safety information to health authorities around the world in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
- Human Rights in Clinical Trials and Other Research and Development Activities
Astellas is committed to maintaining the highest scientific and ethical standards in our pharmaceutical research and development. We comply with internationally-accepted standards for non-clinical and clinical research, including the International Council for Harmonisation Guidelines and the ethical principles articulated in the Declaration of Helsinki, as well as applicable laws, regulations and industry codes.
In our clinical trials (including post marketing clinical trials), we put the health and safety of trial subjects first. We also respect and protect their human rights, including rights to dignity, self-determination, privacy and confidentiality of personal information. We obtain appropriate informed consent from everyone taking part in Astellas-sponsored clinical trials. We handle human biological samples (e.g. blood, tissues and cells) and associated data in a highly responsible and ethical manner. We ensure that appropriate informed consent is obtained from donors, as required by relevant local laws, regulations, guidelines or industry codes.
- Access to Health
Advances continue to be made in technology and medicine that address unmet medical needs. However, there still remain barriers for many people who have difficulty accessing the healthcare they need due to the lack of available treatments, poverty, healthcare system challenges and insufficient healthcare information. While the protection of the right to health is primarily the responsibility of states, pharmaceutical companies like Astellas can play a role in contributing toward improving the health of people by expanding access to health. To this end, we are working on a range of initiatives including: aiming to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, combating diseases which have been commercially neglected, preventing and controlling non-communicable diseases, and supporting technology transfer.
- Human Rights in the Workplace
At the core of our operations is our employees, who enable all the work we do and are the driving force to realize our mission. Astellas respects the human rights of our employees, including the rights to non-discrimination, freedom of association and collective bargaining, and freedom from forced labor. In addition, we work to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace and provide a safe and rewarding work environment for our employees. We also strive to promote respect for these rights in our business partners.
We understand the need for employee feedback and the right to remedy, and so we have implemented reporting mechanisms through which employees can file complaints, without fear of reprisal and on a confidential basis.
This position statement applies to Astellas’ worldwide operations. Astellas is fully ready to implement the commitments made herein and to continue to fully embed respect for human rights within our company. Astellas works to implement our position on human rights in local context through implementation of relevant policies and procedures.
Astellas also expects our business partners to respect human rights in their own operations through our Business Partner Code of Conduct.
3. Stakeholder Engagement
Astellas believes that corporate respect for human rights is an ongoing and evolving process. Astellas is committed to ongoing engagement with relevant stakeholders to continue to understand and address human rights impacts linked to our business from the perspective of those affected. We will continue to build upon these efforts and improve our overall human rights performance through public reporting on our approach.
- Position on Human Rights (pdf 439KB)