At Ascendis Pharma, we are 100 percent committed to making a difference for patients around the globe, and doing so with high ethical standards.
We work in fair, honest and respectful cooperation with potential customers and external business partners, which may include individuals, suppliers, consultants, distributors, agents, intermediaries, public and private clinics, hospitals, universities and institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations. We take responsibility for our actions. We do not compromise our commitment to integrity or our values.
Our Code of Business Conduct & Ethics provides general guidance regarding how to conduct business in a compliant way.
The Ascendis Pharma Code of Business Conduct & Ethics defines the standards by which we operate, translating our values and the work we do each day to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients into consistent action, guided by high global standards on business ethics and integrity.
Our Code of Business Conduct & Ethics outlines a set of our overall global policies, which may be supported by more specific company policies and guidelines. In addition, we have mechanisms to address and resolve ethical issues and compliance concerns that may arise at any point in our day-to-day work.
The Code of Business Conduct & Ethics applies to everyone at Ascendis Pharma.
At Ascendis Pharma, we work in fair, honest and respectful cooperation with potential customers and external business partners. These may include individuals or legal entities with whom we work in partnership, such as suppliers, consultants, distributors, agents, intermediaries, public and private clinics, hospitals, universities, and institutions, as well as non-governmental organizations. In support of our work, we also seek to partner with competent contract research organizations (CROs), contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs), and other third parties. We expect our external business partners to comply with the principles outlined in the Ascendis Pharma Code of Business Conduct & Ethics in all aspects of their work with or on behalf of us.
We work in fair, honest and respectful cooperation with others.
If you are aware of any known or suspected violation of the Code of Business Conduct & Ethics, including violations of the laws, rules, regulations or company policies, you may use our Whistleblower Hotline.
Complaints are handled by Group Compliance, and the Chairman of the Audit Committee is notified about any reported complaints. The procedures for investigation of the individual complaint will depend on the nature and significance of the complaint.
Ascendis Pharma has adopted a reporting procedure, including a non-retaliation policy, which sets forth the standards and procedures for reporting questionable conduct and addresses confidentiality concerns and protection for persons reporting questionable behavior. When you report a suspected wrongdoing in good faith, based upon your reasonable belief, and you are not engaged in associated improper conduct, Ascendis Pharma will keep your identity confidential to the extent possible. In order to thoroughly investigate a complaint, however, Ascendis Pharma may find it necessary to share information with others on a “need to know” basis.
While efforts will be made to maintain the confidentiality of your identity, the existence and particulars of the complaint itself may have to be disclosed to the individual(s) about whom the complaint is made. In each instance, the investigation team will determine the appropriateness of bringing the disclosure to the attention of management, to the individual(s) against whom the complaint is made and to the Audit Committee or the Board of Directors.
Ascendis Pharma, Inc. and Ascendis Pharma Endocrinology, Inc., each a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Ascendis Pharma A/S, strive to conduct all aspects of our business in accordance with the highest standards of business ethics and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations that govern our industry.
Ascendis Pharma, Inc. and Ascendis Pharma Endocrinology, Inc., (collectively “Ascendis”), each a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Ascendis Pharma A/S (NASDQ:ASND), which is headquartered in Denmark, are integrated specialty pharmaceutical companies focused on providing treatment options for rare diseases. Ascendis strives to conduct all aspects of our business in accordance with the highest standards of business ethics and to comply with all applicable laws and regulations that govern our industry.
As part of this effort, Ascendis has adopted an enterprise-wide Comprehensive Compliance Program (“CCP”) that is designed to prevent, detect, and resolve potential compliance issues. Our CCP seeks to comply with all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and industry guidance including the “Compliance Program Guidance for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers” developed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s “Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals.” The CCP applies to our officers, directors and employees in their activities on behalf of Ascendis, including any of its related U.S. companies. In addition, our CCP is in compliance with Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 119400-402.
The Ascendis Head, Group Compliance, Risk & Corporate Responsibility has primary responsibility for development and implementation of the CCP, including drafting policies and procedures, training, auditing, monitoring, performing investigations, and responding to identified problems. The Ascendis Head, Group Compliance, Risk & Corporate Responsibility, on behalf of the Ascendis Pharma A/S Compliance Committee, provides periodic reports on the operation of the CCP to the Company’s Board of Directors, the body with ultimate authority over the Ascendis CCP.
The Ascendis Code of Business Conduct and Ethics is our declaration of ethical and compliance principles that guide our ongoing business operations. It states our expectation that the company’s officers, directors, and employees will act in accordance with the law and company policy.
Annual Spending Limit
To ensure that they understand our products, Ascendis representatives may meet with healthcare professionals (“HCPs”) to explain their benefits and risks. Some of these informational and educational presentations may take place over the course of a modest meal to minimize the HCP’s time away from his or her patients. In addition to occasional meals, Ascendis may provide healthcare-practice related items and other promotional materials in accordance with federal and state laws, regulations, guidance, and our CCP. For purposes of complying with the California Health and Safety Code 119402, Ascendis has established a maximum annual aggregate limit of $2000 for gifts (defined as anything of value provided for free, including meals) given to California health care professionals. This limit is a cap, not a goal or average; the amount spent on most health care professionals will be substantially less.
Education and Training
Education is a key element of the Ascendis CCP. Ascendis is committed to implementing programs that effectively train its employees on company policies and procedures. New employees will receive such instruction as part of their initial training and existing employees are expected to receive compliance training on at least an annual basis. Ascendis will review and update its training programs periodically and continue to identify additional areas where training is needed on an ongoing basis.
Ascendis expects its employees, officers and directors to promptly report suspected or actual violations of our CCP and laws and regulations governing our business. Ascendis encourages reports to be made to a supervisor, manager, or directly to the Compliance Officer. Ascendis also maintains a hotline that allows for anonymous reporting of any compliance concerns and a process for investigating and documenting those concerns. Reports can be made to the Ascendis Whistleblower Hotline online at whistleblowerservices.com/ASND or U.S. toll-free by telephone at 1-855-831-6972.
Auditing and Monitoring
As part of the CCP, Ascendis conducts auditing and monitoring activities designed to assess compliance with the CCP policies, procedures and processes, identify potential training needs, and identify policy, procedure or process needs.
Responding to Potential Violations
Ascendis is committed to compliance and strives to maintain an active and effective CCP. Disciplinary actions for compliance program violations are addressed in the Ascendis Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. Ascendis has a progressive disciplinary process up to and including termination of employment depending upon the severity of the violation. Disciplinary actions will be timely implemented to ensure that the incident is resolved and to prevent any potential reoccurrence.
Ascendis Compliance Program Declaration
Ascendis declares that, as part of our continued focus on compliance, we have developed a Comprehensive Compliance Program that, to the best of our knowledge and as of the date of this declaration, is compliant with the requirements of California Health & Safety Code §§ 119400-119402, and Ascendis is in all material respects compliant with its CCP.
Copies of this declaration may be obtained by contacting: