Providing Medicine Provides Hope

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August, 2009

Chiaki Matsuoka
Kyoto Pharmaceuticals Department 2, Japan Business Headquarters

Employees listening to the lecture

As a Medical Representative (MR), part of my job is to provide information about drugs to doctors and pharmacists, and to gather information in the field. Usually, my activities are centered on medical facilities, but unfortunately, there are few opportunities to listen directly to patients.

Consequently, I attended a lecture at an area training event for MRs that was planned to enable a patient with dementia to share his thoughts with us so that we could rediscover the concept of hhc and the value of providing drugs to patients.

The patient who participated in this lecture had been diagnosed with dementia four years ago. He delivered his speech, which had been practiced numerous times before, while reading his notes. All employees, including myself, listened earnestly as he spoke of his experiences, including the anxiety he felt when he was first diagnosed with dementia, how he spends each day and that he started a blog, and he provided us with details of lectures for family support groups.

In a speech full of thoughts, the patient remarked, “The medicine I take helps me to live in peace. Please continue to help me. I'm truly grateful”. His wife also spoke of her yearning to see her husband's present condition continue, even if only for a while longer, which brought tears to my eyes. It made us aware that, for this couple, medicine provides hope for the future.

Looking back on my work, I am full of shame and regret that sometimes I have made excuses, sometimes I have ignored reality, and that my attitude has shifted toward increasing sales in my day-to-day work. Drugs are prescribed due to the fact that patients and families are suffering because of illnesses, and I have committed myself to earnestly face that reality.

This lecture was a good opportunity for me to redefine for myself the essence of the routine activity of providing drugs to patients. From now on, I will approach work with the concept of “providing medicine provides hope” etched firmly in my heart.