Public Policy

Public Policy Participation

We believe that public policy engagement is important and appropriate for Alkermes. Public policy plays an integral role in helping to facilitate patient access to important medications and in promoting and supporting medical innovation.

Our public policy advocacy reflects our commitment to improving the lives of patients, enhancing public health, and advancing medical innovation. We do this by advocating for, among other things, patient access to, and awareness of, all medications approved by the FDA for alcohol dependence, opioid dependence and schizophrenia, and treatment system reforms that foster patient-centered care—care customized by the physician and patient to the clinical needs of the patient, regardless of the treatment setting in which the patient is seen. We actively participate in public policy discussions to share our perspective and experience as an innovative biopharmaceutical company committed to advancing therapies for patients with unmet medical needs.

At the federal and state levels, we engage with governments, trade associations, patient groups and other organizations to find policy solutions to the complex issues that challenge our healthcare system and the patients, caregivers, families and communities that we serve. We believe it is our responsibility to help legislators and regulators understand our viewpoints on important healthcare issues. Our public policy engagement is guided by the following principles:

  • Commitment to our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, and
  • Support of policies that benefit patients who may use our products, including ensuring and improving access to medicines and fostering innovation in health care.

Our Federal Government Relations function is responsible for advocacy activities before the U.S. Congress and the federal government. Advocacy at the U.S. state level is managed by our State Government Affairs function. We also hire outside firms that can provide expertise on our key policy issues. For both our federal and state engagement efforts, our public policy priorities and positions are determined in consultation with our management, and our Board of Directors is annually provided an update of, and an opportunity to comment on, our advocacy priorities and efforts.

In the United States, in compliance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act, we file a quarterly report of all expenses associated with lobbying the federal government that includes: 1) total federal lobbying expenditures, 2) the name of the specific piece of legislation or subject that was the topic of the lobbying communication, 3) disclosure of the names of our employees who lobbied on our behalf and 4) identification of the legislative body or executive branch that was contacted. In order to be fully transparent, Alkermes also includes an allocated share of the salaries of those Alkermes employees involved in lobbying the federal government, the full amount paid to lobbyists employed by Alkermes, expenses associated with federal lobbying activities, and the portion of our trade association dues that are associated with federal lobbying. These reports can be found on the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records website or the U.S. House of Representatives Office of the Clerk website. We do not currently make direct expenditures toward U.S. federal or state grassroots lobbying communications directed to the general public.

Trade Associations

We are a member of trade associations that represent the biopharmaceutical sector and that focus on policy issues related to health and other topics which impact patients, physicians, and our company. These organizations serve a variety of purposes such as speaking with a uniform voice with policymakers on public policy issues or collaborating on education and advocacy activities. While we may not always align with or support every public position taken by a given association or its other members, representatives of our company serve on various boards and committees within such organizations to share our perspective on the issues and to advocate on our behalf for policies that advance patient access and innovation in health care.

Below is a list of trade organizations to which we paid dues of $50,000 or more during the last fiscal year:

  • Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
  • Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)

Political Action Committees and Corporate Political Contributions

We have established the Alkermes, Inc. Political Action Committee and the Alkermes, Inc. Political Action Committee Massachusetts (each, an Alkermes PAC) funded solely through eligible U.S. employee and director contributions. The Alkermes PACs offer a direct means to voluntarily participate in shaping public policy and voicing views on issues related to our business.

In certain states where it is permitted, Alkermes makes corporate political contributions to support state election campaigns, state party committees, and state ballot measures. Our corporate political contributions do not include direct independent expenditures. Alkermes operates in accordance with all applicable laws.

We do not expect candidates who receive Alkermes PAC contributions or corporate political contributions to agree at all times with our positions on policy issues. Rather, we seek to support candidates who recognize the importance of medical innovation in improving lives and the importance of broad access to quality, affordable health care.

When selecting candidates for Alkermes PAC contributions and corporate political contributions, priority is given to candidates who express views on issues that concern our business. Our contributions are intended to promote the company’s interests and the interests of the patients we serve, and are made without regard to the private political preferences of our officers, executives or directors. Contributions to office holders and candidates are bipartisan and are determined by unanimous action of the officers of the applicable Alkermes PAC or our corporate political contributions committee, as applicable, which officers and committee represent a cross-functional group of our U.S. employees.

The following factors are considered in determining the individual recipients of corporate political contributions and Alkermes PAC contributions: 1) the values and integrity of the candidate; 2) the candidate’s representation of a jurisdiction of importance to us; 3) the candidate’s position on issues of importance to us; 4) the candidate’s service in a leadership role; 5) the nature and strength of the opposition to the candidate; and 6) the candidate’s financial need. The officers of the Alkermes PACs consider the same factors when making decisions to contribute to a political party or other political committee.

Our Government Relations function, under the direction of our Senior Vice President, Policy & Government Relations, reviews and approves all corporate political contributions to ensure such contributions are consistent with our guidelines and in accordance with applicable laws.

Alkermes PAC contributions are reported to the Federal Election Commission on a regular basis, available here, and to state election commissions as required by law. In addition, to ensure transparency, information about all political contributions in the U.S. by the company and the Alkermes PACs is provided in a bi-annual report, categorized by state, recipient, party affiliation, office sought (where applicable) or other description, the source of the contribution and the amounts contributed.