Eisai's policies and programs are supported by full management commitment. We understand that effective management is essential to ensure that policies are implemented correctly, programs help patients in need, and philanthropy achieves its intended impact.
Senior Executive Involvement
At Eisai, the Senior Executive responsible for Corporate Affairs has overall responsibility for access strategies and reports on these to the Executive Committee, which is chaired by the company CEO. In addition to ad hoc reporting as required, a report on Eisai's overall approach to Access to Medicines is delivered to the Executive Committee.
Eisai Senior Executive with Access to Medicine responsibility
As of July 2017, Mr. Masatomi Akana, Vice President for Corporate Affairs, has overall responsibility for Eisai's access strategies.
At Eisai, ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) Department - a division devoted to developing new business models, private-public partnerships, and product development partnerships - leads our access strategies. In partnership with others inside and outside the company, ESG Department plans and implements Eisai's ATM-related initiatives. With representatives from relevant organization within Eisai, ESG Department reviews current strategies and discusses proposed new approaches. As the results of these initiatives, in terms of positive impacts on patients and their families, become available, ESG Department reviews each initiative and our overall approach. ESG Department is also responsible for the disclosure of Eisai's ATM initiatives, primarily through the corporate website and corporate publications.
Access to Medicines Advisory Board
Eisai has also established an Access to Medicines Advisory Board comprised of external experts in international policy to provide high-level guidance.
Access to medicines is a complex problem that cannot be solved by the pharmaceutical industry alone. At Eisai, we recognize that collaborative solutions that allow the private, public and civil sectors to work together are needed to achieve sustainable systems of health care. To make the most effective contribution to improved access to medicines, Eisai needs an advanced understanding of global health and other policy developments.
We have therefore formed an Access to Medicines Advisory Board, comprising several experts in international policy and development, to advise us on our policies and strategies for access to medicines. This Board offers advice and suggestions to Eisai on which efforts are needed, cost-effective, and have significant impact on the development of sustainable solutions for patients and their families.
The ATM Advisory Board meetings have been held bi-annually since 2011. During these meetings, the advisors, CEO, corporate officers and staff from relevant departments discuss a wide range of issues on Access to Medicine.
The current members of Eisai's ATM Advisory Board are:
Mr. Mitsuo SAKABA (Chairman)
Former Ambassador to Vietnam/Belgium. Mr. Mitsuo Sakaba graduated from Yokohama City University and started his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 1973. As a trainee of the Ministry, he studied at the Montpellier University in France (1974-76). Following that, he served as Director of Technical Cooperation in charge of JICA in the Economic Cooperation Bureau and as the Counsellor of Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD in charge of development cooperation issues. He also served as the Consul-General in Chicago, the Director-General of the Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Bureau, and as Ambassador to Vietnam (2008-10) and the Kingdom of Belgium (2012-14). In September 2014, after leaving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he became a Professor of International Politics at Yokohama City University (2015-17). Since January 2017, he is serving as a Member of the Public Security Examination Commission under the Ministry of Justice.
Mr. Ujal Singh BHATIA
Former Indian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Mr. Bhatia joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1974 and spent the first two decades of his service career in development administration in the state of Odisha, in Eastern India. Between 1995-2000, he worked in the Central Government in Delhi, as Joint Secretary in the Commerce and Industry Ministry. During this period, he dealt with a range of trade policy issues - domestic, bilateral, regional and multilateral. From 2000-2004, he returned to Odisha and held several senior positions there, including Principal Secretary. From 2004-2010, he served as India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO. He is presently a Member of the Appellate Body of the WTO.
Dr. Hiroki NAKATANI
Former Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Nakatani received his M.D. from Keio University School of Medicine, M.H.P.Ed from the University of New South Wales, and Ph.D. from Keio University. After working at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan, he served as Assistant Director-General of WHO from March 2007 to May 2015. He led the largest technical cluster comprising HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases. During his tenure, the morbidity and mortality of these three major infections showed trends of decline, and a few tropical diseases were on track towards suppression and even eradication in the case of dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease). He is presently a Specially Appointed Professor at Keio University (Keio University Global Research Institute: KGRI), a Specially Appointed Professor at Osaka University (International/Future Medical Care), an Advisor for the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, a Director at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine, and a WHO Executive Board member.
Message from Mr. Mitsuo SAKABA (Chairman)
The global landscape is now dramatically changing around the international health environment. Ebola fever in Africa crossed the frontiers and frightened the whole world in 2014-15, exposing serious shortcomings in crisis management of the global health regime. In Asia, we are not immune either to new challenges of infectious diseases as seen in recent cases of SARS, Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) and MERS, while confronting traditional, but still serious diseases of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The health issue is high on the agenda for deliberating the new global Sustainable Development Goals and human security in United Nations. Against this backdrop, the Japanese Government adopted in 2013 a specific Strategy on Global Health Diplomacy in order to strengthen its contribution in the field of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The public-private partnership is much encouraged in this regard.
Eisai has been playing an exemplary role in combatting neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in developing countries. It is well known that Eisai is providing medicines to help WHO fight against Lymphatic Filariasis Endemic, one of the larger scale NTDs. In January 2012, Eisai signed the historic London Declaration which is the largest global public-private partnership aiming at eliminating ten NTDs by 2020 as the only signatory among Japanese pharmaceutical companies. Particular attention should also be paid to the fact that in 2013, Eisai contributed to the launch of the GHIT Fund (Global Health Innovative Technology Fund), the first ever public-private partnership in Japan to eliminate infectious diseases in developing countries. All these contributions by Eisai in the field of “access to medicines (ATM)” are well reflected in the high ranking (no.11) of the company in the ATM index 2014, published by the highly respected ATM Foundation, Netherlands. It is my great pleasure to be a member of Eisai's ATM team as I spent a large part of my diplomatic career in the field of development cooperation. I am convinced that Eisai, with its World Health Initiative, will make a further contribution to relieve the international community from heavy yokes of infectious diseases.
Message from Mr. Ujal Singh BHATIA
The compulsions of a high cost research driven business model often lead firms to focus primarily on bottom lines. However, firms operating in the human healthcare area have to be aware of a larger responsibility - to ensure that the products of their research are able to reach those who need them most but who may not be able to access them.
It is a recognition of this larger responsibility which drives Eisai's ATM initiative. Eisai's commitment to ATM is reflected in its continuing search for new business models, public-private partnerships and product development partnerships. The 2010 agreement with the WHO to establish a public-private partnership to combat lymphatic filariasis is an illustration of this commitment. The agreement commits Eisai to supply free of charge, 2.2 billion tablets of diethylcarbamazine (DEC) to the WHO to enable it to combat this neglected tropical disease in the most endemic regions of the world.
Eisai's participation in the London Declaration, a unique public-private partnership which aims to eliminate 10 NTDs by 2020, is another affirmation of its commitment to the ATM objective. Eisai's active participation in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund launched by the government of Japan will enable it to contribute to the discovery and development of global health technologies. Eisai's premier position among Japanese companies in the Global ATM Index demonstrates that the ATM objective is embedded in the core of Eisai's business philosophy.
While the objective of ATM is a constant, the policies and strategies required to operationalise it differ from country to country. A market like India for instance, where public healthcare systems are not well developed and where the majority of patients are poor, requires a bespoke approach which takes into account such complexities. I am happy to see the effort being put in to design a pricing and availability strategy for Halavan for the Indian market.
Eisai's unique commitment to ATM marks it out as a global enterprise with a conscience. I am sure that in the years to come, this commitment can only deepen.
Message from Dr. Hiroki NAKATANI
After graduating from Medical School and becoming a doctor, I have been consistently working on the issues impeding access to medical services both inside and outside of Japan.
During my tenure at the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, I was in charge of Health and Welfare Services for the Persons with Disabilities, which covers intractable disease, HIV/AIDS, leprosy (Hansen's disease), as well as mental disease, and are areas which require solutions beyond medicine. From 2007, I was Assistant Director-General of WHO for 8 years, and during that time I was in charge of HIV/AIDS tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases, attempting to improving medical services to infected patients, especially improving their access to medicine in cooperation with more than 300 colleagues gathered from around the world. As a result, several public-private partnerships were established, and more and more pharmaceutical companies joined. Nowadays, free drug supply from pharmaceutical companies has become one of the crucial pillars to support WHO's initiatives and is helping to steadily break down the vicious cycle between disease and poverty caused by tropical diseases in low-income countries.
Eisai is the first Japanese pharmaceutical companies contributing to these kinds of worldwide initiatives. In order to eliminate lymphatic Filariasis, Eisai committed to supply the DEC (diethylcarbamazine) tablets required to WHO free of charge via a joint statement signed by Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO and Dr. Haruo Naito, CEO of Eisai. This new advance in tracking down and eliminating one of the NTDs will be recorded as a key moment in history. At this signing ceremony, I was deeply moved and felt proud as a Japanese citizen.
However, when taking a broader look at the world today, the realities are stark. The majority of the world's poorest living under 1.25 US dollar per day actually live in developing countries which have experienced remarkable economic development. Even if good medicines are available, patients in low and middle income countries cannot afford them due to financial difficulties. Furthermore, there is insufficient research and development on effective drugs for epidemic diseases that continue to run rampant in these countries. These tragic circumstances continue to exist.
I believe that by carrying out its corporate philosophy of human health care, Eisai will be able to make progress in improving access to medicines that currently do not reach patients. Furthermore, I am more than happy to advise Eisai's management team on improving access to effective medicines, which will not only greatly contribute to human health worldwide but also make the company's shareholders and employees proud of being involved in these efforts.