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Shire Global

How We Operate

Our Approach to Public Policy

One of our most important responsibilities is to ensure that the people affected by the conditions we treat are given the support they need, and the conditions themselves are properly understood and adequately funded.

This means we actively engage with policymakers, as well as non-governmental organizations, to advocate for a policy and regulatory environment that supports innovation and value that will benefit patients, healthcare systems and society worldwide. This includes working to improve access to medicines, to increase awareness and understanding of the often complex and misunderstood conditions our products treat, and to support investment in and advancement of new medical breakthroughs. We also engage in discussions pertaining to pricing and reimbursement, intellectual property and trade, and diagnosis and detection.

Shire’s Global Government Relations and Public Affairs team reports to Shire’s Global Head of Communications and Public Affairs, and subsequently Shire’s Chief Executive Officer. Public Policy is a focus area for our Responsibility efforts, and accordingly has representation on our Responsibility governance team.

The team:

  • Meets on a regular basis to review Shire’s political activities and approach to ongoing issues;
  • Engages with policymakers to support improved patient access to our medicines;
  • Encourages policies that recognize patient and societal benefits of innovation, including the protection of intellectual property as an incentive for continued innovation;
  • Advocates greater understanding among policymakers of the societal value of specialist and orphan drugs and early diagnoses of conditions requiring these medicines;
  • Raises awareness and understanding among policymakers of:
    • Rare diseases and the unique set of circumstances associated with them
    • ADHD and other behavioral health conditions as serious medical conditions that warrant early diagnosis and management because of their impact on patients and society;
  • Regularly discloses all relevant lobbying activity to local governments via the US Federal Government Quarterly Disclosure and the European Union Annual Disclosure;
  • Complies with all US Federal Government laws and regulations in accordance with:
    • ‘Revolving Doors’;
    • ‘Cooling-Off Periods’; and,
    • Secondments.

When engaging with any third-party or intermediary, partners are required to comply not only with regional laws, but Shire’s Code of Ethics. We do not contract for any paid services with local, elected government officials. Before engaging with external organizations, we review all such organizations against the following guidelines:

  • Aligns with Shire’s overall business objectives and commits to Shire’s Code of Ethics;
  • Produces reputable, consistent, and high-quality work;
  • Is appropriately governed with a clear process for impact measurement and;
  • Understands that no funds provided by Shire may be used to make political donations or related recreational purposes.

Political Donations: Shire does not make contributions or donations to any political party in any country. We are committed to transparency in our core public policy positions, and post and update these positions on

Shire is part of the Register of Interest Representatives, the European Commission’s voluntary self-regulation system.  As part of our inclusion in this system we have committed to publish an estimate of the costs associated with direct lobbying of the EU institutions incurred by in-house lobbyists and subscribe to the Commission’s Code of Conduct.

Support for Trade Associations

We work closely with and actively participate in trade organizations that strive to raise industry standards and best practice, and advocate for our industry and free enterprise.  Memberships are generally assessed by the corporate communications and public affairs team and as appropriate, agreed to by the executive committee.  Shire is a member of over 30 pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry groups worldwide including BIO, EFPIA, EuropaBio, IFPMA, ABPI, Medicines Australia, and Biotec Canada, among others. 

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