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Access to Medicines

Our Approach

hhc for the world

Eisai is a research-oriented, global pharmaceutical company committed to improving the health of all individuals worldwide regardless of wealth or geography. We give our first thoughts to patients and their families and are committed to help improve the lives of patients and their families – a principle grounded in Eisai's human health care (hhc) philosophy, which has been embedded into our Article of Incorporation and national programs across the globe. We realize this using the Knowledge Creation SECI (Socialization, Externalization, Combination, Internalization) Model*1, emphasizing the importance of socialization. Socialization with patients and understanding their tacit knowledge of pleasure, anger, sadness and joy is an essential part of hhc. We recommend all Eisai employees to spend 1% of their business time in socialization, namely spending time together with the patients.
Eisai is committed to developing and implementing long-term sustainable strategies using partnership-based models to improve the affordability, availability, adoption, and access to medicines*2. Today, it is estimated that over 1.4 billion people live in absolute poverty and a further 1.3 billion live on US$2 or less per day*3. Most of these 2.7 billion persons lack access to essential health care and medicines. Along with governments, international organizations, and other private sector companies, Eisai is determined to play a central role in improving access to medicines worldwide.
Access to Medicines (ATM) is more than assuring the supply of medicines. Similar to health care access, access to medicines is a complex process that needs to be addressed from multiple perspectives. For instance, Eisai believes our models of ATM need to take into account affordability for patients and society, shared-decision-making with patient understanding of and adherence to therapies, and sustainable provision of healthcare. At Eisai, we are committed to improving ATM worldwide and have developed a five-target action plan. The five key components are: product creations, strategic solutions, capacity building, quality innovation, and long-term investment.

Ikujiro Nonaka, Noboru Konno, The concept of “Ba”: Building foundation for Knowledge Creation. California Management Review Vol 40, No.3 Spring 1998

Frost LJ, Reich MR, Access: How Do Good Health Technologies Get to Poor People in Poor Countries? Cambridge: Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, distributed by Harvard University Press, 2008

World Bank, 2005.

1. Product Creations

Research and development at Eisai is called “Product Creations” as Eisai believes R&D activities should be patient-oriented. Eisai's mission is to create products that can address the explicit and implicit needs of patients and their families. Our product creation caters to the local needs of each market, with different products offered for distinct markets. Differences in medical needs, disease structures and healthcare systems among countries underline the need to adapt our product portfolio to the market needs of each country.
As part of our Product Creation philosophy, Eisai invests in the research and development for access to medicines. Eisai is dedicated to the treatment of Diseases of the Developing World (DDW). This includes both communicable and non-communicable diseases. For communicable diseases, Eisai undertakes in-house product creation for tropical diseases. This can be seen in the Eisai Initiative for Tropical Diseases (EITD), in which we make investments in new treatments for malaria, Chagas Disease and other neglected diseases. Where suitable partners can bring experience, expertise and commitment, we seek to form Product Development Partnerships (PDPs). PDPs address the lack of commercial incentive to develop medicines for diseases that particularly affect the developing world, using public and philanthropic funds in cooperation with pharmaceutical companies such as Eisai. This approach is reflected in our current project to develop a new treatment for Chagas disease with Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), an independent entity based in Geneva, Switzerland. For non-communicable diseases, Eisai is committed to implementing new models to improve access to our medicines for neurological diseases and cancer in the developing world.
Eisai also considers granting a non-exclusive license for our medicinal products, subject to agreement of a reasonable royalty, in order to facilitate sales of our products worldwide. Eisai is open to discuss material transfer, collaborations or other arrangements regarding our proprietary compounds with public and private, for-profit and non-profit research institutions seeking to develop new medicines. We are willing to enter negotiations for non-exclusive licensing of single molecules. We are also willing to share our compound libraries on a voluntary basis with research institutions, subject to discussion of the terms and conditions.

2. Strategic Solutions

Eisai believes in partnership business models that are sustainable solutions. In many cases these will be strategic solutions, using market mechanisms to deliver improved health outcomes.
Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) are new business models that use partnerships between private companies and public or government bodies, often also involving non-profit entities and non-governmental organizations working in public health. PPPs can make a contribution towards improving health outcomes in developing countries by combining the different skills and resources of the various organizations in innovative ways. Eisai develops and implements partnership business models that bring together non-profit organizations and private companies in creative ways that improve access to services and healthcare products while meeting both public health and private business objectives.
Eisai is also committed to improving the affordability of its products. To realize this principle, we have introduced strategies for Affordability for countries outside of those defined as high-income for selected products. Currently, in developing countries such as India and the Philippines, we use inter-country differential pricing based on the social, economic, and medical environments of individual countries for products including, but not limited to, Aricept for Alzheimer's Disease, Pariet® (proton-pump inhibitor), Zonegran® for epilepsy and other related disorders, and Revovir® for chronic Hepatitis B infection. In countries where more than one price is possible, we use intra-country differential pricing based on the differences in hospital type and thus their subpopulation of patients.
For those patients who lack access to basic health care, affordability is a partial factor and more comprehensive solutions to access are needed. To improve access in Middle Income Countries (MICs) and Low Income Countries (LICs), comprehensive solutions that address infrastructure, availability and education are needed. Accordingly, Eisai works with NPOs, NGOs, and other committed parties as a partner to create access programs unique to each country income level to increase rates of screening, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in those low to middle income countries. Eisai develops access programs to improve access for specific patient populations within a single country to address these intra-country disparities.

3. Capacity Building

Eisai fully endorses the IFPMA statement that “in many parts of the world, much still needs to be done to build better health care infrastructures for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of a broad range of diseases”.
Eisai, either on its own or through industry associations, is committed to working closely with national governments to help strengthen healthcare systems to support the use of modern medicines. This will often take the form of Patient Education and Medical Training.
For instance, we work with the Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), a global program of scientific collaboration that helps coordinate, support and influence global efforts to combat a portfolio of major diseases of the poor and disadvantaged. Eisai welcomes collaborations on relevant educational and training initiatives for health workers and healthcare professionals, which help to transfer medical knowledge, skills, and technologies. Now in Eisai, we have a medical professional from a developing country as a trainee and will continue such collaborations and supports.

4. Quality Innovation

Quality assurance in the pharmaceutical industry directly affects safety and efficacy. Medicines of poor quality can harm patients and be a serious threat to public health. Quality assurance at Eisai is an underlying principle of our Company, our business, and our relationships with each patient and family.
To this end, we invest in the adaptation of products to developing country markets and work to ensure their availability at the highest level of quality. We do this through creating innovation of Enabling Technology and Distribution (Quality Innovation). We invest in technologies that ensure safe and efficacious medicines for patients living in desert climates or in the tropics where humidity is high. For distribution, we realize that quality distribution is an important key to enable patients' access to our medicines. We work with agents and distributors that uphold our standards of quality and safety. In each country of commercial operation, we utilize an advanced quality management system that guarantees a stable and high quality supply of products under any environment.

5. Long-term Investments

Eisai believes strongly in its responsibility to the wider society, not only in the countries in which it conducts business but all across the world. We recognize that the growth of developing economies is the source of future growth of the global society. In particular, improved health of people in the developing world is a fundamental need for these countries' economies to grow. Eisai invests in the enhancement of health in developing countries and is committed to contributing to the rise of a more populous middle class world-wide.
Our approach to long-term investments is two-fold. First, Disaster Relief is one way of assuring our corporate responsibility to society. In cases where a natural disaster has occurred, cash donations may be the most appropriate response in order to accelerate recovery in the regional economy and systems of public health and clinical care. However, Eisai prioritizes the sustainability of any contribution it makes, and in general prefers to develop long-term relationships with communities in need and to make a continued contribution over time.
Second, Product Provisions also are a form of investment in the long term stability and growth of a region's economy, and systems of public health and clinical care. Product Provisions, when conducted as part of an explicit¬ plan to achieve specified health outcome targets and in cooperation with partners, have a direct impact on future growth and prosperity for the region. All Product Provisions are carried out in accordance with the WHO Guidelines for Drug Donation (updated 2000*2). One example is Eisai's production and supply of diethylcarbamazine (generic name, “DEC”), a medicine used to treat lymphatic filariasis, which is provided to the WHO free of charge up to 2.2 billion 100 mg tablets over a six year period between 2012 and 2017. Here, Eisai does not only donate DEC, but rather works at the implementation level too as a partner with the WHO and other non-profit organizations to ensure that the most effective and sustainable solutions to elimination of this disease with DEC.

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