Responsible R&D


What is Responsible R&D at AstraZeneca?

Company stewardship in the development of a responsible product portfolio strategy to drive global health outcomes, e.g. addressing unmet medical needs, investing in neglected diseases, and embedding environmental predictors of disease state, especially to improve the access and efficacy of medicines for vulnerable populations.


Our approach

Cross-functional pipeline governance teams meet to develop an innovative product portfolio that drives positive global health outcomes to:

  • Address unmet medical needs and barriers
  • Increase the speed and breadth of patient access
  • Drive excellence in product life cycle management
  • Understand long-term impacts of scientific advances

We have committed that our clinical trials represent the diversity of the communities with the relevant disease. As a science-led, patient-focused organisation, we have an obligation to play our part in addressing health inequities and eliminating discrimination from the delivery of healthcare. We also progressed our Digital Health R&D approach, which focuses on developing novel digital solutions that harness the power of data and analytics to transform medicines development and improve patient outcomes and experience. Learn more here.

In 2020, we worked to advance our approach and identify innovations, aiming to:

  • Consider diverse geographical selection for clinical trial development, including low- and middle-income countries
  • Provide early access and continued post-trial access for clinical trial participants
  • Collaborate to advance scientific understanding and build local capacity for R&D
  • Consider how our products will affect the populations they intend to treat within the R&D phases, through our work on product safety and Product environmental stewardship
  • Consider the range of ethical patient access issues that arise from biological and medical science

Responsible R&D is closely related to other areas of our sustainability strategy, such as Affordability, Investments in health systems, and Ethical business culture, including Bioethics.


Our stories

Diversity in clinical trials
Harnessing digital to optimise the patient experience
Greater access to children's cancer medicines

AstraZeneca CEO signs historic vaccines pledge
Research on treating and preventing COVID-19
Accelerating patient access to our medicines

Learn more about Responsible R&D in our Sustainability Report.