Based on the mission statement in its management philosophy of "contributing to society by creating and offering superior pharmaceuticals and health-related products as well as healthcare-related information and services in socially responsible ways that enrich people's lives by improving health and beauty," Taisho Pharmaceutical has been endeavoring to develop its business activities sincerely and earnestly by valuing the idea of "corporate activities as shinsho*, its founding spirit.
The Company is committed to compliance as a company-wide initiative so that all employees will understand this idea correctly and each of them is always able to practice it in his or her duties.
*This refers to be ethical, for example by not breaking laws, keeping promises, not telling lies, and not bullying those who are weaker than you. It also means sharing profits with partners and society. We make a point of always meeting the expectations of society in all countries and regions where we are active.
Code of Conduct and Declaration of Corporate Conduct
As part of our efforts to solidify our compliance initiatives at the company and all domestic and overseas subsidiaries, we are having all executives assist the compliance officer and inform employees about compliance in all companies. We also created the Internal Affairs Department as a dedicated department.
The department heads and group managers are in charge of monitoring, education, and information activities for the sake of thoroughly ensuring compliance at departments and in groups. At each department, generally two compliance committee members assist the department heads' efforts to increase compliance awareness, monitor workplaces and provide employee counseling.
Developing compliance guidelines
Taisho Pharmaceutical has so far formulated the Taisho Pharmaceutical Group's Code of Conduct, which serves as a standard for making decision about activities to fulfill our corporate mission as well as basic guidelines for actions at various workplaces, and the Declaration of Corporate Conduct, which contains items to be observed when considering changes in society and when executives and all other employees are doing business. These have also been announced both inside and outside the company.
- The Taisho Pharmaceutical Group's Code of Conduct
- The Taisho Pharmaceutical Group's Declaration of Corporate Conduct
Further, we have seen an increasing ratio of non-Japanese employees because of our expanding business base through M&A and other means in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia as well as France, so now the majority of our employees are non-Japanese. Amid such developments, we believe it is important for each new employee to value and correctly understand our management principles, which is why we are making the TAISHO WAY.
While there are growing expectations for business activity expansion, there is also a greater need for responsible action in the countries and regions where we are active. Different countries and regions not only have different languages but also religions, societies, institutions, and values, so we need to respect the cultural diversity and change their respective unique attributes into strengths. As such, as part of our efforts to build a stronger management foundation that can continue to grow and develop even amid international conflict, we have formulated the Global Compliance Guideline as action guidelines for all employees of the corporate group.
All of these are made not only in Japanese but also the local language of the overseas subsidiaries, to be distributed either as booklets or through intranets. By creating an environment where our employees can read them at any time, we aim to conduct our activities with an awareness that is shared by all employees, be they in Japan or abroad.
We hold annual workshops for all employees to deepen their understanding of compliance and understand that it is their own issue to address so that their practices reflect the importance of compliance. Since FY2020, a year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have established an environment for online training and added to our intranet a video about training which provides advice about the revision and enforcement of laws. Additionally, compliance workshops are held as part of company-wide basic training that is attended by about 3,000 employees from different divisions. We also provided stratified training to managers and people in higher-level positions including online workshops designed to enable employees to be properly aware of what laws to observe and how to prevent harassment.
We have also gradually started holding online workshops for our overseas subsidiaries about necessary laws and regulations, such as the bribery prevention laws, competition laws, and information security.
In addition to such training, we provide training using the TAISHO WAY and the Global Compliance Guideline to ensure that everyone learns and understands all aspects of compliance, with the aim of sustainable growth for the Taisho Pharmaceutical Group.
Compliance with Laws and Social Standards in Each Country
We will comply with laws, ordinances, regulations, social standards, business practices and internal rules, and clarify our commitment to understand and respect the purpose and objectives underlying these principles in our Global Compliance Guideline, making these known to all employees.
Compliance with Social Standards and Commitment to Corruption Prevention
- As a company engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of pharmaceuticals that foster the wellbeing of people, we work earnestly to respect the sanctity of life and promote a commonsense view of pharmaceuticals.
- We continuously collect information concerning the safety of our products in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations in each country and appropriately report the findings to the pertinent authorities as required.
- Particular care is taken to maintain a proper relationship with government officials and medical professionals. We never engage in dealings such as providing illegal payments to the public servants, foreign civil servants or other parties of any country.
- We exercise constant vigilance to legal and social practices, never ignore unlawful or antisocial acts, always behave in a sensible manner, and reject the demands from antisocial influences or groups involved in activities that may threaten the order and safety of civil society.
Prevention of Bribery
We do not provide special preferences to certain customers and business partners or abuse our dominant bargaining position, and we comply with applicable laws and regulations and secure contracts and engage in business transactions in an appropriate manner. We prohibit any business transaction deemed to be collusion with a customer or business partner.
With regard to bribery, we thoroughly prohibit our employees in Japan and abroad from providing valuables or treatment that lead to inappropriate relations or may give the wrong impression, acting in other ways that confer advantages, and using their position or relationships to request customers and partners to provide valuables, treatment, and other advantages.
Observing anti-monopoly and national competition laws (relations with other companies in the industry)
We are always committed to sincere, fair, and legal business, so we completely prohibit cartel activities and bid-rigging that are prohibited anti-monopoly and national competition laws or any actions that may violate the same laws. We are also sustaining our competitiveness as a company by appropriately managing our immaterial properties such as patent rights, trademark rights, and know-how on pharmaceutical development technology. We also prohibit any acts that violate the intellectual property rights of other companies.
Information integrity and protection
We recognized the importance of the confidential information that we acquire through our business activities, so we manage them strictly and appropriately. Internal sharing of confidential information is only done among employees with a real need for that information. Where such information needs to be disclosed to a third party, the necessary procedures are followed, such as concluding a non-disclosure agreement with that party according to internal regulations, and we confirm that this disclosure does not violate any laws or agreements. Employees who have resigned are also prohibited from sharing confidential information that they learned during their employment. Personal information about consumers, employees, and partners that was acquired in the line of work may only be used for relevant work purposes, while meticulous care is taken with the process of information gathering, use, storage, and disposal to ensure strict management for the prevention of leaks to third parties. Personal information is stored with thorough safety management to avoid damage and improper access. Moreover, when outsourcing work that may require storage of customers' personal information, we select a partner that can handle that information appropriately, conclude an agreement to ensure its appropriate handling, and provide them with necessary and suitable supervision for the safe management of that information. Some countries have strict regulations on transferring personal information abroad. We always make sure there is no issue with sharing the information, even when it is between group companies.
Internal reporting hotlines
Based on the Company's Internal Reporting Regulations, we have a range of corporate resources where you can direct inquiries about behavior that violates laws, ethics, and internal regulations, including the Compliance Management Section Hotline, the Harassment Hotline, an external hotline known as the External Attorney Hotline. We are planning to strengthen our internal reporting system by unifying our internal reporting hotlines for overseas subsidiaries as well as increasing employees' awareness of their existence. Further, these internal reporting hotlines are open widely, not just to employees of the Taisho Pharmaceutical Group but also to contract, part-time, and temporary employees. The privacy of persons making inquiries is protected and all involved staff members have a duty of confidentiality in accordance with the Whistleblower Protection Act and our internal regulations in the form of the Company's Internal Reporting Regulations.
We conduct questionnaires to check that overseas subsidiary employees are practicing the desired ethics and the necessary laws and ordinances from their compliance education in their everyday work and that they correctly understand the existence and workings of the internal reporting hotlines, as well as to check general compliance topics, such as whether there is harassment or not.
The results of these questionnaires are shared with the compliance officers at each overseas subsidiary for the sake of improving the compliance education further.
Required Considerations in Pharmaceutical Research and Development
Research involving human-derived samples is conducted only upon the fair and impartial deliberations of the Ethics Committee in accordance with internal regulations*1. These internal regulations were formulated after ample consideration of such issues as respect for human rights, commitment to safety, the protection of personal information and bioethics, pursuant to the Declaration of Helsinki and other guidelines.
We handle all compounds, radioisotopes, genetically modified organisms and infectious agents/pathogens with extreme care in order to protect the environment, safeguard biodiversity, and support people’s life and health based on internal regulations*2 that stipulate appropriate storage and management methods, pursuant to laws, regulations and other guidelines.
When conducting animal testing, plans are screened by the Animal Testing Committee in accordance with our internal regulations*3, which were formulated based on the animal welfare concepts of the three Rs*4 and meet the provisions of the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals and other regulations.
We have acquired certification of our animal facilities through the Japan Pharmaceutical Information Center and our pathogen and gene research facilities undergo inspections by the Certified NPO Biomedical Science Association to ensure appropriate operations.
- *1. Ethical regulations regarding the use of human samples and information
- *2. Safety management regulations for legally mandated substances, radiation injury prevention rules, genetic modification testing safety management rules, and safety management regulations for pathogens
- *3. Refers to replacement (the use of alternatives to animal testing), reduction (reduction of the number of animals used) and refinement (reduction of pain inflicted)
- *4. Regulations regarding animal testing