We strive to engage in constructive dialogue with policy makers and other external stakeholders with the intent to represent the perspective of Novartis in the policy making process, and to provide policy makers with data and insights to enable widely informed decision-making conducive to improving patient outcomes and sustainable business. We work closely with trade associations, which create opportunities to raise industry standards and exchange best practice and help foster framework conditions conducive to improving patient outcomes and investment into R&D. In 2015, Novartis Group companies contributed USD 42.9 million to various major international, regional and country trade associations.1
Novartis Group companies maintain full-time public affairs offices in several locations, e.g. Basel, Switzerland; Brussels, Belgium; and Washington D.C., in the United States. We have additional public affairs personnel in many other countries, who assess regulatory and political decisions that may affect Novartis.
Novartis makes financial contributions to support political dialogue on issues of relevance to the company, or to government projects, e.g. for capacity-building. Such contributions need to be fully compliant with applicable regulations. Novartis only makes financial political contributions in countries where such contributions by corporations are legal and generally considered appropriate (the amount of these contributions is published in the Novartis Annual Report in the Corporate Governance section, page 104).
Novartis is disclosing political contributions where required by law such as in the US or Ireland. In order to further increase lobbying transparency, Novartis is also included in the Register of Interest Representatives, the European Commission’s voluntary self-regulation system. In line with this, Novartis has committed to publish a yearly estimate of the costs associated with lobbying of the EU institutions and subscribe to the Commission’s Code of Conduct.
Compared to the 2014 figure of USD 26 million, the 2015 figure is higher since it newly includes funding provided to trade associations in major countries. Please note that the USD 26 million for 2014 is a restated figure reflecting continuing operations, i.e. contributions by Novartis Corporate, Pharmaceuticals, Alcon and Sandoz only (excluding contributions by the divested divisions). The figure reported originally for 2014 was USD 27 million. The restated figure for 2013 is USD 22.3 million (vs. USD 23.5 million reported originally).