On November 22, approximately 85 employees, including senior management from various Eisai subsidiaries worldwide, assembled at our global head office in Tokyo to participate in “hhc Initiative 2013.”
The hhc Initiative is an annual event that promotes and recognizes excellence in innovative activity themes based on our hhc corporate philosophy. Each year, the most outstanding themes are selected from a range of innovative initiatives by Eisai employees, covering diverse hhc-driven activities that aim to realize various patient contributions, case reports and proposals submitted by internal applicants, and achievements deserving of special mention a tour in-house R&D and production organizations. The overall aim of the event is to ensure that each employee builds an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the importance of innovative initiatives that emphasize health care from the patients' perspective.
This year's hhc Initiative featured presentations on a total of 22 innovative activity themes. Of these, we would like to give special mention to one particular initiative being realized in Canada that has worked to create a framework for facilitating patient access to new breast cancer treatment options in remote communities.
Under Canada's healthcare system, the average wait from regulatory approval of new infusion (injection) treatments to public reimbursement is approximately 18 months. Patients seeking new breast cancer treatment options during this lag period must usually register with private infusion clinics that cover such treatments under a private medical insurance plan.
In Sault Ste. Marie, a remote city in northern Ontario, no such private infusion clinics had existed and the nearest available clinic was in another city more than 300 kilometers away. Traveling for four hours by car to receive ongoing infusion treatment was therefore difficult, if not impossible, for the majority of patients.
Although the Canadian regulatory authority approved Eisai's in-house–developed breast cancer treatment Halaven in 2011, access to the treatment in Sault Ste. Marie had similarly not been a viable option for local patients as Halaven must be administered via infusion. Working to remedy this situation, Eisai Canada sought out collaboration with a private hospital and other key players to implement a new, local infusion clinic in Sault Ste. Marie, thereby significantly contributing to the establishment of a local medical environment where patients with breast cancer now have the option of timely and convenient access to infusion and other parenteral formulation treatments.