Improving Access to Healthcare
Improving access to healthcare is an important mission as a pharmaceutical company.
We are effectively utilizing Daiichi Sankyo’s resources to contribute to the resolution of social issues related to health and medicine, such as global health issues in developing countries and limited access to medicine for difficult to treat and rare diseases in developed countries.
- Basic Policy
- Participation in the Access Accelerated Initiative
- Continuation of Mobile Healthcare Field Clinic Services in Tanzania
- Cultivation of Healthcare Workers in China
- Participation in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund
- Initiatives Targeting Rare Diseases
- Technical Cooperation for MR Vaccine Production
- Measures to Combat Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals
- Daiichi Sankyo Open Care Program (United States)
- Disclosure of Clinical Trial Information
The member states of the United Nations have adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in relation to issues needing to be addressed on a global scale. Of these “Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” is particularly applicable to the healthcare field.
With the aim of contributing to the accomplishment of this goal, the Daiichi Sankyo Group is advancing in-house development and partnering with external research institutions in order to create new pharmaceuticals and improve access to healthcare in developing countries.
In April 2017, the Global Health Team was established within the CSR Department in order to clarify the directives for the Group’s global health initiatives under the 5-year business plan. With this new team in place, we will position the issues seen in regard to R&D, pharmaceutical technology, supply chain, marketing & sales, quality & safety management, medical affairs, and other areas of operation as tasks to be addressed throughout our entire business in order to promote global health initiatives in an integrated manner with our business.
Various issues impede access to medical products in developing countries, including insufficient healthcare systems and medical infrastructure, a lack of people capable of manufacturing and managing the quality of medical products, and a shortage of healthcare professionals.
By addressing these issues, we will strive to fulfill our mission, which is “To contribute to the enrichment of quality of life around the world through the creation of innovative pharmaceuticals, and through the provision of pharmaceuticals addressing diverse medical needs.”
Our Policy on Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Medicines in Developing Countries can be viewed through the following links.
Directives for Initiatives
- Provide mobile healthcare field clinic services, cultivate healthcare workers, and educate local residents about healthcare and hygiene in regions lacking sufficient medical infrastructure
- Promote R&D activities for addressing difficult-to-treat diseases, rare diseases and global health issues
Examples of Initiatives
Participation in the Access Accelerated Initiative
Daiichi Sankyo is participating in the Access Accelerated initiative. Launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Access Accelerated consists of 22 Japanese, American and European biopharmaceutical companies including Daiichi Sankyo, and aims to improve non-communicable disease (NCD) prevention, diagnostics and treatment in low and lower-middle income countries in partnership with the World Bank Group and the Union for International Cancer Control.
Nearly 80 percent of NCD-related deaths occur in lower and middle income countries, and measures are urgently needed to address NCDs including cancers, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes. Access Accelerated will contribute towards achieving the reduction of premature mortality from NCDs by one third by 2030 through prevention and treatment and promoting mental health and well-being, a part of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations in 2015.
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Continuation of Mobile Healthcare Field Clinic Services in Tanzania
In Tanzania, Daiichi Sankyo has been operating mobile healthcare field clinics in cooperation with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local governments, and local communities in order to contribute to regions where medical infrastructure, doctors, and transportation to hospitals are all in insufficient supply.
We have operated mobile healthcare field clinics for five years since 2011 in Tanzania in an effort to address high infant and maternal mortality rates. The project has helped improve the immunization rate among infants and the rate of pregnant women who received antenatal care.
In fiscal 2016, it was decided that these services would continue to be offered, but in the new region that is the Kilombero District, and a kickoff ceremony was held for this new chapter of the project in February 2017. With a focus on contributing to the accomplishment of Goal 3 of the SDGs, we will seek to increase the immunization ratio among infants along with the ratio of women who receive antenatal care. We also plan to devote our efforts to cultivating community healthcare workers that can support healthcare activities and help us with implementing this program in the future.
More information regarding this program, including activity details and reports, can be found below.
Cultivation of Healthcare Workers in China
In July 2015, Daiichi Sankyo embarked on a project targeting approximately 60,000 households in six townships in Guangnan County, in the Yunnan province of China. This area has a particularly high number of children suffering from developmental disorders. Daiichi Sankyo is supporting activities in the aforementioned regions for cultivating healthcare workers capable of contributing to better healthcare for children and mothers and for providing healthcare education to local residents. The Company is focusing on improving health and nutrition among children aged five and under in this impoverished area. Over the project’s five-year period, we will work to cultivate healthcare professionals through a series of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) strategy training sessions while also establishing community centers to offer education for improving the ability of local residents to address pediatric diseases.
To date, approximately 260 healthcare professionals (village doctors) have taken part in IMCI training sessions through which they have learned about how to respond to pediatric diseases and provide care to infants. Furthermore, we have established community centers in all six townships, through which programs for educating parents are conducted. Over the past two years, approximately 6,200 local residents have taken part in these programs. We look forward to the start of activities by village doctors that have undergone IMCI training as well as the expanded efforts of local residents.
|Number of individuals undergoing IMCI strategy training||190||67|
|Participants in activities of community centers||1,600||4,613|
Details of these initiatives can be found below.
Participation in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund
The Daiichi Sankyo Group has funding the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund since its establishment in April 2013. The GHIT Fund is a public‒private partnership originating in Japan supported by the government of Japan, six Japanese pharmaceutical companies, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that was created to promote the development of drugs for combating infectious diseases in developing countries.
Daiichi Sankyo is participating in joint development with the Fund by utilizing its compound library (consisting of small molecules and natural substances) in a screening program through the Fund for exploring candidate compounds to treat tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, namely leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. This program is at the lead compound optimization stage for malaria and the lead compound creation stage for tuberculosis, leishmaniasis, and Chagas disease (See “Voice” below).
- 【VOICE】Quest to Create Global Health Benefits that Are Recognized Both Inside and Outside of Daiichi Sankyo
Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd.
Since the GHIT Fund was established in 2013, Daiichi Sankyo has been taking part in its project for exploring treatments related to global health. In this project, we began with screening the Company’s unique compounds and then moved on to research in a phased manner, and we are currently engaged in exploratory research on treatments for malaria, tuberculosis, and the neglected tropical diseases leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Research in all of these areas is still in the initial phases.
Those of us on Daiichi Sankyo’s research team are working together with research partners as we forge ahead with research with the aim of fully utilizing the Company’s drug discovery expertise to save patients. These efforts are still relatively unknown outside of the Company. For this reason, I see it as my quest to create results that are recognized both inside and outside of the Company as an indication of Daiichi Sankyo’s dedicated efforts to aid various stakeholders around the world.
Initiatives Targeting Rare Diseases
Developed countries face issues with regard to preventive medicine and the treatment of rare diseases. On this front, DS-5141, a nucleic acid treatment drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy that Daiichi Sankyo is developing jointly with the Orphan Disease Treatment Institute*2, received designation under the SAKIGAKE Designation
System*6 in April 2017. We also commercially provide Biopten,*7 Methylene Blue Injection,*8 Gabalon Intrathecal Injection,*9 and other orphan drugs.
- *5 Company established through joint investment by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, a fund operated by Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd., and Daiichi Sankyo
- *6 System for designating pharmaceuticals anticipated to demonstrate incredibly high efficacy at treating illnesses with the potential to seriously threaten people’s lives and thereby enabling world-leading treatments to be provided to patients in Japan as quickly as possible
- *7 Naturally derived tetrahydrobiopterin formulation
- *8 Treatment for toxic methemoglobinemia
- *9 Drug used in intrathecal baclofen therapy, a therapeutic method for easing spasms by directly injecting baclofen into areas surrounding the spinal cord, the site of action
Technical Cooperation for MR Vaccine Production
Kitasato Daiichi Sankyo Vaccine Co., Ltd.(KDSV) has been conducting the Measles-Rubella combined vaccine production technology transfer under a five-year contract started in May 2013, following the Project for Strengthening Capacity for Measles Vaccine Production as part of international cooperation between the Japanese and Vietnamese governments. The project provided the production technology for measles vaccine to POLYVAC*, in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Sales approval for MR vaccine was applied during fiscal 2016 and was approved in March 2017. On September 8, 2017, KDSV received the Award, the most prestigious healthcare award presented by the Ministry of Health of Vietnam to individuals and organizations that have made substantial contributions to the development medicine in this country.
KDSV makes a significant contribution to Vietnam in the prevention of measles and rubella infections by establishing a system for stable production of MR vaccine in the country.
- *10 Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals in Vietnam
Vietnamese Minister of Health’s Certificate of Good Performance
Commemorative photograph taken with members of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health
Measures to Combat Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals
To improve the efficiency of pharmaceutical product distribution and enhance traceability, Japanese companies are now required to display GS1 codes containing expiration dates and manufacturing numbers on individual sales packages and original packaging for pharmaceutical products. Compliance with this requirement must be achieved by 2021. Daiichi Sankyo was quick to begin addressing this obligation, and GS1 codes are now used for more than 80% of the products manufactured by us. A recent incident regarding the circulation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in Japan threatens to undermine the trust of society for pharmaceuticals. Accordingly, pharmaceutical companies are now faced with an urgent need to implement measures for preventing the circulation of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in all areas of pharmaceutical distribution, from manufacturing to sales. In combating counterfeit pharmaceuticals, Daiichi Sankyo recognizes the need to consider its role as a manufacturer and distributor as it reinforces measures for preventing product risks. We therefore plan to coordinate with pharmaceutical industry and related organizations to formulate measures for combating counterfeit pharmaceuticals in the future.
In European countries, the United States, and other countries where serialization is becoming a requirement, we are taking steps to address the packaging requirements of each individual country. In addition, we actively promote Good Distribution Practices in order to enhance reliability with regard to the storage and transportation of pharmaceuticals. Daiichi Sankyo is also a participant in the Rx-360 Consortium, an international pharmaceutical supply chain consortium with the goal of developing global quality assurance systems and auditing programs to combat counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, we comply with the regulations of all countries and regions of operation to combat the global issue of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and engage in diligent study to ensure that we can always deliver safe pharmaceuticals to patients.
Daiichi Sankyo Open Care Program (United States)
Ensuring that our pharmaceuticals reach the hands of the patients that need them is as important as efforts to develop revolutionary new treatment methods. The Daiichi Sankyo Open Care Program of U.S. subsidiary Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. (DSI), makes it possible for thousands of patients in the United States to use the Company’s pharmaceuticals.
Through the Daiichi Sankyo Open Care Program, we provide products free of charge to patients that have been prescribed Daiichi Sankyo pharmaceuticals but are either uninsured or lack sufficient coverage.
Furthermore, DSI participates in the Partnership for Prescription Assistance® (PPA) as a member of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America®. PPA is an organization consisting of various public institutions, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare professionals, patient organizations, and community groups. This organization supports patients by confirming their eligibility for applicable assistance programs and helping them submit applications for these programs.
Disclosure of Clinical Trial Information
Daiichi Sankyo is committed to disclose information from the clinical trials it sponsors and recognizes that there are important benefits associated with making clinical trial information available to various related parties, and we therefore practice proactive clinical information disclosure. We have continued to adhere to local regulations and to support the guidelines and policies from industrial organizations by registering information on clinical trials and their results in various databases and making this information available through these databases. Furthermore, we recognize that providing clinical trial data to outside researchers serves to foster understanding regarding pharmaceuticals and spread scientific insight. Accordingly, such data sharing is important for advancing medicine to better aid patients. Based on this recognition, we began providing access to clinical trial data through the dedicated system via the clinicalstudydatarequest.com data disclosure portal in February 2016. Through defined processes using this portal, researchers from outside of the Company can access and analyze clinical trial data that has been anonymized to protect personal information related to patients.