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Reaching the 2 Billion: The Japanese Pharmaceutical Industry's Contributions to Access to Medicine

March 18, 2016

One of the world's most credible indices, the Access to Medicine Index (ATM Index) is an index compiled by the international not-for-profit organization Access to Medicine Foundation (ATM Foundation) which independently assesses the world's leading research and development based pharmaceutical companies' efforts to improve access to medicine in developing countries.

Aiming to increase awareness of activities conducted by the Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturing industry with its strengths in drug discovery, the ATM Foundation has published an article that highlights how Japan perceives the issues of global access to medicine and what the appropriate role of Japanese pharmaceutical companies is.

Some of the points raised by the article include:

  • It is estimated that two billion people around the world face an ongoing challenge of lacking access to quality, affordable, accessible healthcare. Government, non-government organizations (NGOs), and private sector organizations are coordinating with each other to improve access in order to ensure that essential medicines, vaccines and diagnostics reach the people who need them.
  • Compared to Western peers, Japanese pharmaceutical companies have less experience in navigating developing country markets and a smaller corporate presence. On the other hand, in the ATM Index 2014, the four Japanese pharmaceutical companies (Astellas, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai, Takeda) included for assessment in the ATM Index demonstrated sound initiatives to improve access to medicine, such as senior ownership of access issues, equitable pricing strategies, and engagement in capacity building in developing countries.
  • Japan is a world leader in innovation through high-quality research, and Prime Minister Abe, the government, and pharmaceutical companies are clearly committed to global health. With the weight of both government and investors behind them, Japanese companies stand ready to contribute to solving some of the world's biggest access medicine challenges.

Eisai has again been selected as one of the 20 companies to be assessed in the 2016 iteration of the ATM Index. Through the pursuit of sustainable business models and improvement in access to medicine based on its human health care (hhc) philosophy, Eisai will continue to contribute to further increasing the benefits provided to patients and their families around the world.

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