Engaging with public policy stakeholders
Government bodies and public officials play an important role in society, for example by establishing and maintaining the necessary conditions and institutions for economic stability, social cohesion and environmental protection as well as for providing access to healthcare for their citizens. For all these reasons, Roche considers and respects public policy stakeholders as important partners.
We are convinced that proactively and responsibly engaging with public policy stakeholders is a fundamental aspect of good public governance. We seek to inform and work closely with government officials in order to highlight and address the issues that affect the healthcare industry and advance its regulatory framework.
As we focus on finding new medicines and diagnostics that help patients live longer, better lives and that evolve the practice of medicine, we believe that it is our responsibility to share relevant data and insights, as well as our perspective, to inform the public debate.
We strive to strengthens stakeholders’ understanding of—and trust in—our business, explaining what we do, how we do it and our contribution to society. We are convinced that this responsible and constructive form of lobbying is in the interest of all parties involved and of society as a whole.
Roche is committed to participating in a constructive, transparent, sincere and responsible dialogue with government officials by providing relevant, coherent, conclusive and honest information.
All employees working with government officials are expected to act in a legal and transparent way, complying with all applicable laws and regulations as well as with the standards set out in our Good Practice Guidelines on Working with Government Officials.
Currently, our two key issues of engagement are the following:
Access & Innovation
- How to provide patient access to our medicines and diagnostics
- How to create a culture which fosters innovation, e.g. by granting intellectual property (IP) protection
- How to get a fair value for our innovative products, devices and services
- How to develop innovative approaches to personalised healthcare
- How to ensure access to big data
Supporting associations and political institutions
Roche remains independent of any political affiliation. Where appropriate, Roche discloses contributions to associations and political institutions publicly and signs up in transparency registers of public authorities. Further details related to Switzerland, the US and EU institutions are listed below.
We actively participate in public discussions through our engagement and contributions to trade and industry associations such as the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Pharmaceutical and Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), interpharma Switzerland, MedTech Europe and Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed). These groups represent the biopharmaceutical and diagnostics industry in the public debate and advocate public policies that support innovation and that will benefit patients, healthcare systems and society as a whole.
We believe it is important to engage with a broad range of external stakeholders to ensure diverse perspectives are considered. We partner with third party organisations to inform our policy positions and further our shared goal of advancing innovation and making a positive impact on society.
In Switzerland, we spent CHF 8.7 million in 2018, which includes payments to industry associations and various chambers of commerce, financial assistance to trade unions, and donations to political parties at the cantonal and federal level. Donations to political parties are each in the low double-digit thousand range in Swiss francs, and together accounted for approximately 3% of total contributions and donations.
In the US, our lobbying expenditure on federal initiatives in 2018 was approximately USD 6.1 million.
We engage with government officials, legislatures and agencies on policies to advance the development of new medications and ensure patient access to those innovations. Our lobbying activities allow us to educate policymakers on our positions and their impact on the regulatory environment, patient access, intellectual property, personalised healthcare, and business climate issues. We are committed to the highest levels of integrity in our interactions with policymakers and strictly adhere to federal and state laws.
GenenPAC and RocheGGC PAC are nonprofit political action committees (PACs) that accept voluntary contributions from eligible Genentech and Roche employees for distribution to federal and state political candidates. GenenPAC and RocheGGC PAC allow employees to have a voice in encouraging the election of legislators dedicated to helping the biotechnology and diagnostics industries and the patients we serve. Both PACs are governed by an independent Board of Directors comprised of Genentech and Roche employees. In addition, PAC contributions are reported to the federal government twice annually. In 2018, GenenPAC and Roche GGC PACs contributed USD 645,600 to federal and state candidates in a bipartisan manner.
In 2018, we contributed USD 3.7 million to associations in the US toward sponsorship, meetings, advocacy campaign, and lobbying activities, however the amount spent on lobbying varies from organisation to organisation.
We maintain a transparent dialogue with representatives of the relevant EU institutions, including the European Parliament and the European Commission located in Brussels, Belgium. EU-related activities are conducted from the headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, as Roche does not have a central office in Brussels.
Since 2009, Roche has provided information about its advocacy activities, relating to the decision-making of EU institutions through the EU Transparency Register. Disclosed costs encompass a broad range of activities, including all activities targeted at directly or indirectly influencing the formulation or implementation of policy and the decision-making process of the EU institutions.
For 2018, Roche estimated its annual costs between EUR 1.0 and 1.25 million. This estimate follows the guidance provided by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). As Roche works closely with associations, a significant part of the disclosed costs accounts for the membership fees of the associations that represent Roche at EU level.
Further information about our advocacy activities with EU institutions can be found in the EU Transparency Register.