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

The member states of the United Nations have adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals to be accomplished by 2030 in relation to the 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. (See table below.)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Global health issues faced in developing countries include lacking measures to address neglected tropical diseases and limited access to basic medical services as well as the presence of people and entire regions suffering from health problems due to insufficient health and hygiene knowledge. In addition, developed countries still require appropriate access to medicine for difficult to treat and rare diseases. The Daiichi Sankyo Group continues its endeavor to create new pharmaceuticals and improve access to healthcare in developing countries to contribute to the achievement of Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Daiichi Sankyo Group’s initiatives for contributing to accomplishment of each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals have been compiled in the list of initiatives related to the Sustainable Development Goals

Our Policy on Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Medicines in Developing Countries can be viewed through the following links.
Our Policy on Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Medicines in Developing Countries

Examples of Initiatives

Participation in the Access Accelerated Initiative

The company 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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Access Accelerated initiative

Mobile Healthcare Field Clinic Services

In India and Tanzania, we have 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 India, Cameroon and 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.
As issues still persist in certain areas of Tanzania, we continue the mobile healthcare field clinic project in the Kilombero District. The project will further contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal No.3 set by the United Nations of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages. 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, the Company embarked on a project targeting approximately 60,000 households in six townships in Guangnan County, in the Yunnan province of China. This project is conducted together with the NGO Plan International Japan, a member of Plan International, and through collaboration with government health authorities and mother‒child healthcare institutions from the target area. This area has a particularly high number of children suffering from developmental disorders, and, through this project, we hope to contribute to better health for these children as well as their mothers. 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 the health and nutrition among children aged five and under in this impoverished area through the improvement of the healthcare system. To accomplish this goal, we are working to develop medical professionals in community healthcare through a series of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness strategy training sessions and by offering education to improve the capability of local pediatric care through the establishment of a community center.
The opening ceremony for a community center established in Guangnan County was held in November 2015. This ceremony was attended by approximately 230 individuals, including representatives from health and hygiene bureaus, healthcare professionals (village doctors), the mayor of the village in which the center was built, and other local residents. We will continue to hold Integrated Management of Childhood Illness strategy training sessions to foster healthcare workers.

Participation in the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund

The Daiichi Sankyo Group is participating in the GHIT Fund, a public-private partnership originating in Japan supported by the government of Japan, six Japanese pharmaceutical companies, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The GHIT Fund was established in April 2013, founded on the belief that public-private partnership is necessary to promote the development of drugs for combating infectious diseases in developing countries.
Daiichi Sankyo is participating in the Fund by utilizing its compound library (consisting of small molecules and natural substances) in a screening program through this fund for exploring candidate compounds to treat tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases (leishmaniasis, Chagas disease). We are also engaged in the joint development of lead compounds for tuberculosis and malaria based on promising compounds discovered through this program.

Initiatives Targeting Rare Diseases

Developed countries face issues with regard to preventive medicine and the treatment of rare diseases. To address some of these issues, in 2015, Daiichi Sankyo commenced a joint clinical trial with the Orphan Disease Treatment Institute*1 for DS-5141, a nucleic acid treatment drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We also commercially provide Biopten,*2 Methylene Blue Injection,*3 Gabalon Intrathecal Injection,*4 and other orphan drugs.

  • *1. Company established through joint investment by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, a fund operated by Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd., and Daiichi Sankyo
  • *2. Naturally derived tetrahydrobiopterin formulation
  • *3. Treatment for toxic methemoglobinemia
  • *4. 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), provided technical cooperation for strengthening the capacity for measles vaccine production to POLYVAC,*5 in Hanoi, Vietnam, from March 2006 to March 2010 as part of international cooperation between the Japanese and Vietnamese governments. Following this effort, KDSV has been providing technical cooperation utilizing the production technology for the measles-rubella combined vaccine (MR vaccine) under a five-year contract starting in May 2013.
We will contribute to the establishment of MR vaccine production in Vietnam and support a decrease in the infection rate of measles and rubella. (See “Voice” below.)

【VOICE】 Contribution to Healthcare in Vietnam through Stable Manufacturing of High-Quality MR Vaccine

Miki TamuraMiki Tamura
Business Performance
Kitasato Daiichi
Vaccine Co., Ltd.

Technical cooperation with Vietnam began after a 1987 request from the World Health Organization to transfer technologies to this country. After this request, we began technical cooperation with regard to the measles vaccine and then later the MR vaccine, and these efforts continue today.
During the 2014 measles outbreak in Vietnam, both POLYVAC and the World Health Organization spread word of the importance of being vaccinated by POLYVAC measles vaccines, which were both safe and effective as they were manufactured using superior Japanese technologies. The endorsement of these two organizations enabled various citizens to have peace of mind in receiving vaccinations. In November 2015, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health presented KDSV with the “For the People’s Health” award to recognize the role KDSV played in helping Vietnam begin manufacturing measles vaccines and in containing the measles outbreak. When presenting the award, the vice minister stated that they were “greatly appreciative for KDSV’s enduring contributions to the medical systems and the citizens of Vietnam.”
The project for transferring MR vaccine manufacturing technologies currently underway is now in the clinical trial phase. As a member of this project, I am committed to helping realize the manufacturing of this vaccine in Vietnam as soon as possible in order to contribute to further improvements in healthcare and open more possibilities for the future of Vietnamese children.

Ceremony held in Vietnam for presenting the “For the People’s Health” award
Ceremony held in Vietnam for presenting the “For the People’s Health” award

Measures to Combat Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

To improve the efficiency of pharmaceutical product distribution and enhance traceability, Japanese companies are now required to display barcodes (variable GS1 codes) containing expiration dates and manufacturing numbers as well as product codes 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 implementing variable GS1 codes, and these codes are now used for all products manufactured by Daiichi Sankyo Propharma Co., Ltd.
In addition, we actively promote Good Distribution Practices in order to enhance reliability with regard to the storage and transportation of pharmaceuticals. Furthermore, we comply with the regulations of all countries 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 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 expanding access to clinical trial data through the dedicated system via in February 2016. Through defined processes using this system, researchers from outside of the Company can access and analyze data that has been anonimized to protect personal information related to patients.