Even today as we see remarkable developments in the medical field, there are many diseases against which no effective treatment exists. Also, in low- and lower middle-income countries, there are many people who have difficulty receiving necessary medical care due to various reasons such as inadequate medical infrastructure and poverty. Under the corporate philosophy “Dedicated to Man’s Fight against Disease and Pain,” we aim to improve access to healthcare by pursuing these goals: the development of innovative pharmaceutical products, improvement of medical infrastructure, and establishment of partnerships with outside parties. We currently sell our pharmaceutical products ourselves in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan; in Asia, including Japan, we will make efforts for improving access to healthcare including the treatment of rare diseases. In regions other than Asia, we will make efforts to provide pharmaceuticals with the help of our partner companies. We will also work on supporting medium- to long-term activities to strengthen medical systems by means such as medical education and the development of medical infrastructure through partnerships with NPOs and the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund.
We strive to continually develop innovative drugs through appropriate protection and use of various types of intellectual property generated during the course of drug development, while at the same time respecting intellectual property rights owned by third parties. In some countries, people have difficulty access to healthcare due to economic reasons. To deliver our innovative drugs to more patients worldwide, we will neither apply for nor enforce patent rights in Least Developed Countries defined by the United Nations*1 and Low Income Countries defined by the World Bank*2. We also will not file patent applications or enforce rights in Lower Middle Income Countries defined by the World Bank*3 with the exception of some countries.
The management team oversees the directions for the improvement of access to healthcare and the details of the efforts.
New efforts associated with access to healthcare will be deliberated on and approved by the CSR Committee, chaired by the Corporate Executive Officer / Head of Corporate Communications. Its activities are periodically reported to the Management Meeting which is chaired by the CEO.
Working on the treatment of rare diseases is important so as to improve access to healthcare. We make the following efforts to develop and provide pharmaceuticals for rare diseases.
(As of August 21, 2020)
|Product name||Therapeutic indication||Date designated as an orphan drug||Status|
|OPDIVO intravenous infusion||Malignant melanoma that has no possibility of radical resection||2013.06.17||Approved|
|Recurrent or intractable classical Hodgkin lymphoma||2016.03.16||Approved|
|Progressing or metastatic malignant pleural mesothelioma that has no possibility of radical resection||2017.12.01||Approved|
|Demser Capsules||Mitigation of excess catecholamine secretion in patients with pheochromocytoma||2015.05.25||Approved|
|Kyprolis for intravenous infusion||Recurrent or intractable multiple myeloma||2015.08.20||Approved|
|Onoact for intravenous infusion||The kinds of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia in intractable and urgent cases: ventricular fibrillation and hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia||2016.08.24||Approved|
|Mektovi Tablets||Treatment of unresectable malignant melanoma with a BRAF mutation||2018.03.30||Approved|
|Braftovi Capsules||Treatment of unresectable malignant melanoma with a BRAF mutation||2018.03.30||Approved|
|Velexbru||Primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL)||2019.08.20||Approved|
|Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM) and lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL)||2019.11.19||Approved|
In addition, Opdivo is designated as a target item under the Priority Assessment Designation System, specified by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, that targets bile duct cancer.
Medication evaluated appropriately for children should be used for pediatric patients. Aiming to improve pediatric patients’ access to healthcare products, we are working on the flexible approval for children as follows.
(As of August 21, 2020)
|Product name||Pharmaceutical indication||Status|
|Onon Dry Syrup||Bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis||Approved|
|Emend Capsules||Digestive symptoms (nausea, vomiting) resulting from the administration of antineoplastic agents (cisplatin, etc.) (including the delayed phase)||Approved|
|Proemend for intravenous injection.||Digestive symptoms (nausea, vomiting) resulting from the administration of antineoplastic agents (cisplatin, etc.) (including the delayed phase)||Approved|
|Orencia for intravenous infusion||Active polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis||Approved|
|Onoact for intravenous infusion||Tachyarrhythmia in patients with deteriorated cardiac function||Under developing|
Together with Keio University, Kochi University, the National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, Health and Nutrition, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, and Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., we established the Immune-mediated Inflammatory Diseases Consortium for Drug Development for the purpose of drug development research targeting intractable immuno inflammatory diseases in May 2018. It is expected that the achievements of this consortium will lead to the creation of next-generation pharmaceuticals with high utility against intractable immunoinflammatory diseases and also enable the provision of new treatment options for patients and healthcare professionals.
As an initiative to promote both medical system support and work style reform, we started ONO SWITCH Project in August 2018. Under this initiative, donations are made to medical-related NPOs/NGOs using the money saved by reducing overtime payments through work style reform. The Project aims to contribute to the promotion of work style reform and healthcare, and people’s health around the world, thereby further promoting our corporate philosophy “Dedicated to Man’s Fight against Disease and Pain."
The NPOs/NGOs to which donations are made are determined each year based on a questionnaire targeting all employees.
In FY2019, we donated to the following NPOs.
|Partner||Description of initiatives||Area of operation|
|Japan Committee, Vaccines for the World’s Children||
Bhutan does not yet have the ability to prepare all the vaccines needed in the country, and there are some children who die from vaccine-preventable infections. Also, Bhutan does not have sufficient cooling equipment to store vaccines, which is necessary to ensure access to vaccines.
We support the following activities in Cambodia, where medical infrastructure is lacking.
We support the following activities undertaken by Future Code, an NPO involved in medical support activities in disaster and poor areas around the world, to improve access to healthcare in Bangladesh.
|People's Hope Japan*4||
In rural areas of Myanmar, the maternal mortality rate and the newborn mortality rate are high due to poor access to healthcare. We support the following activities undertaken by the said NPO under the Maternal and Newborn Health Care System Improvement Project.
|Partner||FY2019 targets||FY2019 progress||FY2020 targets|
|Japan Committee, Vaccines for the World’s Children||• Provide DPT (diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus) vaccines and hepatitis B vaccines.
• Provide vaccine refrigerators.
KPINumber of vaccines and refrigerators provided
|• DPT vaccines: Vaccines for 50,000 people were provided. (100% elimination of the shortage of vaccines for two-year-old children)
• Hepatitis B vaccines: Vaccines for 8,000 people were provided. (100% elimination of the shortage of vaccines for babies within 24 hours of birth)
• Provided 5 vaccine refrigerators.
|Provide DPT vaccines for 50,000 people, hepatitis B vaccines for 8,000 people, and 5 vaccine refrigerators.
KPINumber of vaccines and refrigerators provided
|Future Code||The NPO and ONO discuss the details of activities to be undertaken from 2020 and establish the direction of the activities.||Confirmed the content of the project starting from 2020 and set targets for activities.||• Donate PCR testing equipment for COVID-19 or X-ray equipment to the new hospital.
(KPI: In the case of PCR testing equipment, conduct 50 PCR tests a day, of which at least 10% should be given to the poor.)• Conduct health checkups at orphanages and hygiene education at orphanages and elementary and junior high schools.
KPINumber of participants in hygiene education sessions: 50 (number of times sessions are conducted: at least once a year)
|People's Hope Japan||The NPO and ONO discuss the details of activities to be undertaken from 2020 and establish the direction of the activities.||Confirmed the content of the project starting from 2020 and set targets for activities.||Conduct training for and monitor the skills of all midwives (83 people) and assistant midwives (55 people) in Lewe Township of Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory.
|Nanbyo no Kodomo Shien Zenkoku Network (Nationwide Network to Support Children with Intractable Diseases)||Hold symposia to promote understanding of intractable diseases.||
|Vaccines for the World’s Children||Provide DPT vaccines and hepatitis B vaccines to be used in Bhutan throughout the year.
Start developing an infrastructure for cold chains (a system to transport vaccines at low temperatures to points of consumption).
|Funds were contributed for the provision of DPT vaccines and hepatitis B vaccines to be used in Bhutan next FY year, as well as Ice Line coolers for refrigerating the vaccines.|
|Japan Heart*6||Provide one person with healthcare professional education every year.
Have 100 people receive healthcare professional education.
Neonatal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training was provided to 24 local medical professionals.
KPI16 local residents, 55 Cambodian staff (including non-medical staff) from Japan Heart Children's Medical Center
KPIKPI: 33 medical staff from Japan Heart Children’s Medical Center, 1 staff member from the public Ponnel Hospital
KPIKPI: Training was given once every two months to all of the nine Cambodian midwives at the Center
We became a member company of the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund) in 2018. The GHIT Fund is an international, not-profit organization that invests in the development of new drugs that are less marketable, including drugs for the treatment of malaria, tuberculosis, and neglected tropical diseases, as well as vaccines and diagnostics. Funding is provided by the Japanese government, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Welcome Trust, and Japanese and foreign private companies. In order to reduce the health disparities between developed countries and low- and middle-income countries, the therapeutic agents, vaccines, and diagnostic agents developed through the GHIT Fund’s investments are priced according to the “No Gain, No Loss” principle. We sympathize the initiatives and policy, and we contribute to the funding of the GHIT Fund. Through participation in the GHIT Fund, we will strengthen the establishment of partnerships aiming to improve access to healthcare in low- and middle-income countries.