Improving Access to Healthcare
Improving access to healthcare is an important mission as a pharmaceutical company.
Unmet medical needs and access barriers to essential healthcare caused by social factors such as public health, education and income inequality are social issues against health and medical care. We are effectively utilizing internal and external resources to contribute to the resolution of these social issues.
Our Policy on Access to Healthcare can be viewed through the following links.
"Access to Healthcare" policy of Daiichi Sankyo Group
- Basic Policy
- Participation in the Access Accelerated Initiative
- Mobile Healthcare Field Clinic Services in Tanzania
- Cultivation of Healthcare Workers in China
- Participation in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund
- Continued initiatives targeting rare diseases
- Technical Cooperation for MR Vaccine Production
- Measures to Combat Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals
- Pricing and reimbursement considering regional differences
- Patient Assistance Programs
- Expanded Access Program (EAP)
- Disclosure of Clinical Trial Information
At the Daiichi Sankyo Group, our mission 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." Seeking to accomplish this mission, the Daiichi Sankyo Group utilizes various internal capitals such as human capital, intellectual capital, financial capital, and social and relationship capital through partnerships and open innovation. With these resources, we are able to take advantage of the Company's strengths in terms of science and technology, its global organization and talent, and solid presence in Japan in order to advance our business activities, thereby contributing to the evolution of society.
Pharmaceutical companies face a multitude of challenges surrounding access to healthcare that must be addressed. These include unmet medical needs, access barriers to essential healthcare caused by social factors such as public health, education and income inequality. The 5-year business plan establishes the "Access to Healthcare" policy of Daiichi Sankyo Group, which is the pillar for activities such as the "promotion of research and development," "improved access to pharmaceuticals," and "reinforcement of regional medical infrastructures," to be implemented mainly by the CSR Department Global Health Team. Initiatives for the Value Chain from research and development to manufacturing, sales and credibility assurance activities are being made as the Group. Initiatives for resolving these challenges contribute to the "Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages" of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations.
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
How we adress CSR issues
Participation in the Access Accelerated Initiatives
Daiichi Sankyo has participated in Access Accelerated, an initiative through which 24 pharmaceutical companies from Japan, the United States, and Europe to improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for NCDs*1 in low and lower-middle income countries in partnership with The World Bank Group and the Union for International Cancer Control.
Access Accelerated is working toward achieving one of the targets under Goal 3 of the SDGs, specifically, “by 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.”
- *1 Non-communicable disease, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
Please see a video message from CEO.
In May 2018, the Year One Report summarizing activities in the initial year of Access Accelerated was published.
Mobile Healthcare Field Clinic Services in Tanzania
In Tanzania, we have been operating mobile healthcare field clinics in cooperation with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local governments, and local communities to contribute to regions where medical infrastructure is insufficient, such as areas which lack doctors or where hospital access is difficult.
We have deployed a mobile healthcare field clinic service since fiscal 2011 to improve the rate of pregnant women who receive antenatal care, as well as the immunization rate among infants in areas with healthcare access issues and high infant and maternal mortality rates.
In fiscal 2016, it was decided that these services would continue to be offered in a new region, the Kilombero District, Tanzania, and a kickoff ceremony was held in February 2017. With a focus on contributing to the accomplishment of SDG Goal 3, we seek to increase the immunization ratio among infants along with the ratio of women who receive antenatal care. Additionally, we will focus on training community healthcare workers to support these activities.
As part of this initiative, evaluation criteria have been set for these activities, and progress is continuously monitored. These activities are also being engaged in as part of the Access Accelerated initiative (see “External Voice” below).
• Progress report (February 2017 to December 2017)
|Number of mobile healthcare field clinics||521 times|
|Number of infants less than one year old who have received a triple vaccine||5,934|
|Number of pregnant women who received antenatal care (at 16 weeks)||2,782|
|Number of participants in the campaign to raise awareness||13,509|
|Number of individuals who received training for healthcare workers||110|
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 commenced a project targeting six townships in Guangnan County (approximately 60,000 households), in the Yunnan Province of China to cultivate healthcare workers capable of contributing to better healthcare for children and mothers, as well as for providing healthcare education to local residents. We are focusing on improving the health and nutrition among children aged five and under in this impoverished area. Over the project’s five-year period, we have been working to cultivate healthcare professionals through a series of IMCI*2 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 provided. Over the past three years, approximately 9,900 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. Evaluation criteria have been set for these activities, and progress is being continuously monitored. These activities are also being engaged in as part of the Access Accelerated initiative (see “External Voice” below).
- *2 Integrated Management of Childhood Illness.
Progress report (January 2015 to December 2017）
|Number of participants in IMCI training||257|
|Number of participants in IMCI refresher training||201|
|Number of participants in essential newborn care training||202|
|Number of participants in community center activities||9,923|
See the following for initiative details.
- 【External Voice】We will promote innovative activities through partnership with corporates and private sector
Deputy National Director, General Manager, Plan International Japan
The provision of mobile healthcare field clinics in Tanzania in collaboration with Daiichi Sankyo and the cultivation of healthcare workers in China are activities contributing to the accomplishment of Goal 3 of th e Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In addition to the outputs and outcome, a recent activity evaluation requires us to produce a social impact from a mid-to-long-term perspective. In Tanzania, a local community has built a simple facility for prenatal checkups for pregnant women and educational activities for local people in liaison with our activities proactively even without help from district government or NGOs. We consider this behavioral change in local people as one of social impacts. We will continue to support these community members so that they can solve local issues on their own in the future.
Participation in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund
The Daiichi Sankyo Group has been funding the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund for its first phase, five years since its establishment in April 2013. Created to promote the development of drugs for combating infectious diseases in developing countries, the GHIT Fund is a public-private partnership originating in Japan and supported by the government of Japan, six Japanese pharmaceutical companies, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. During this time, the Fund has contributed to the progress of many innovative product developments through its investments.
The Group 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 to explore candidate compounds to treat malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), namely leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. This program is at the lead-compound optimization stage for malaria and the lead-compound creation stage for leishmaniasis and Chagas disease.
The Group will continue to contribute to this Fund, which began its second phase in April 2018.
- 【VOICE】Quest to Create Global Health Benefits that Are Recognized Both Inside and Outside of Daiichi Sankyo
Corporate Strategy Group, Corporate Business Management Department, Corporate Strategy &Management Division 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.
Continued initiatives targeting rare diseases
The Group has been expanding healthcare access to fight rare diseases as one of its initiatives toward resolving social issues related to health and medical care. We supply pharmaceuticals such as Biopten*3, Methylene Blue*4, and Gabalon*5 for rare diseases. Daiichi Sankyo also provides DS-5141 (treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy), which is being jointly developed with the Orphan Disease Treatment Institute*6, and G47Δ (DS-1647 : oncolytic virus), which is being jointlydeveloped with Professor Tomoki Todo of the Institute of Medical Science of the University of Tokyo. Each treatment has been designated for the Sakigake Designation System*7, and the G47Δ has been specified as an orphan regenerative medical product. In this way, we continue to strive to resolve issues related to rare diseases by applying our external resources such as joint development in addition to our in-house resources.
- *3 Natural tetrahydrobiopterin agent
- *4 Treatment for toxic methemoglobinemia
- *5 An agent used for ITB treatment to suppress spasticity through direct administration of baclofen in the area of the spinal cord
- *6 A joint investment company comprising Daiichi Sankyo and funds operated by the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd.
- *7 A system to promote early clinical research/trials in Japan aiming at early practical application for innovative pharmaceuticals by conducting priority consultations, prior assessment, and priority reviews.
Technical Cooperation for MR Vaccine Production
For five years until March 2018, Kitasato Daiichi Sankyo Vaccine cooperated with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the Vietnam POLYVAC*8 "MR Vaccine Production Technology Transfer Project."
This technology transfer project has been incorporated into the MR vaccine expansion project with Vietnam-made vaccines, and administration of the vaccine for children in Vietnam started in March 2018.
From now on, the country will be able to take swift action without relying on imported vaccines for measles or rubella outbreaks.
The Company's contribution to this project has been highly regarded in Vietnam, and earned the Vietnamese Minister of Health's "Certificate of Good Performance Award" in September 2017, which is the most prestigious award for achievements in Vietnamese healthcare.
- *8 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
Due to the distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals occurring in Japan, the ministerial ordinance on prevention of distribution for counterfeit pharmaceuticals was revised in fiscal 2017.
To appropriately respond to this revised ministerial ordinance, we are enforcing even stricter storage of pharmaceuticals and recording of purchases and transfers. Similarly, to improve the efficiency of pharmaceutical product distribution and enhance traceability, Japanese companies will be required to display GS1 codes containing expiration dates and manufacturing numbers on distribution packaging unit and supply packaging unit for pharmaceutical products by 2021. Daiichi Sankyo is responding to this obligation, and GS1 codes are now being used for more than 80% of the products we manufacture. Codes will be displayed on all products in the near future.
Going forward, we will cooperate with the pharmaceutical industry and related bodies to consider what roles a marketing authorization holder is required, as well as enhance measures for responding to risks.
In European countries, the United States, and other countries where serialization is also becoming a requirement, we are taking steps to reliably address this in each individual country. Within the United States in particular, we are already responding to serialization requirements based on the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA). We plan to complete these actions by November 2018, which is the deadline for pharmaceutical companies.
We are also actively responding to the GDP*9 in order to enhance reliability with regard to the storage and transportation of pharmaceuticals. Daiichi Sankyo is also a member of the Rx-360, a consortium led by manufacturers and suppliers from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries with the goal of developing global quality assurance systems and auditing programs to protect patient safety including combating counterfeit pharmaceuticals. We are striving to precisely respond in accordance with the regulations and risks in all countries and regions we operate, in order to combat the global issue of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and are engaging in diligent study to ensure we can always deliver safe pharmaceuticals to patients.
- *9 Good Distribution Practice.
Pricing and reimbursement considering regional differences
As we further develop our global footprint, the Daiichi Sankyo Group is committed to improve access of our medicines to patients, by implementing pricing strategies which include value based pricing and equitable pricing both at inter- and intra - country level, always taking account of variances in healthcare systems, a national income level, and other environments which influence access to healthcare. We also strive to provide timely and appropriate support to patients who need our medicines and face difficulties to obtain access due to coverage limitation.
Patient Assistance Programs
A commitment to ensuring that our medicines are available to those who need them most is just as important as our commitment to developing innovative treatments. The patient assistance programs of our U.S. subsidiaries Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. (DSI) and Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc., make it possible for thousands of patients in the United States to use the Company’s pharmaceuticals.
The Daiichi Sankyo Open Care Program provides free products to those who are prescribed DSI’s products and are under- or uninsured, as well as unable to identify alternative payment sources.
Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. also has a support program targeting some pharmaceuticals for patients who are either uninsured or lack sufficient coverage. Furthermore, DSI is a proud member of a member of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America’s Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) program. The PPA is a national coalition of pharmaceutical companies, doctors and other healthcare providers, pharmacists, patient advocates and community groups. PPA helps patients identify potential assistance programs, assess potential eligibility, and obtain enrollment forms.
Expanded Access Program (EAP)
Daiichi Sankyo is considering an option to give access to investigational products for reasons that include “compassionate use.” This program allows access to investigational products for patients with serious life-threatening conditions, for which there is no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy, and who are not able or are ineligible to participate in our on-going clinical trial.
Establishing Expanded Access Program (EAP) for Daiichi Sankyo investigational products will be approved only if all criteria are met including full assessment of benefits and risks to the patient and the development phase. For more details, please visit the following website.
Disclosure of Clinical Trial Information
Daiichi Sankyo is committed to the appropriate disclosure of information from its clinical trials. We believe that making protocols information and clinical trial data available to researchers, health care professionals, patients, academicians and others, in appropriate formats, advances science and medicine. We have registered and disclosed the protocol information and results of our clinical trials on various clinical trials registries such as ClinicalTrials.gov, EU-CTR and JapicCTI in accordance with the regulation and commitment of industry groups in each country.
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 a clinical data disclosure portal clinicalstudydatarequest.com in February 2016. Through defined processes using this portal, external researchers can access and analyze clinical trial data that has been anonymized to protect personal information related to patients.
In February 2018, we renewed the clinical trial information disclosure page of our corporate website to allow access to outlines and results of our clinical trials. From April 2018, we started clinical data sharing of clinical trials for pharmaceuticals approved in Japan, in addition to clinical trial data from pharmaceuticals approved in Europe and the United States.