Position on Access to Health
Astellas regards the situation where there still remains barriers for many people who have difficulty accessing the healthcare they need due to the lack of available treatments, poverty, healthcare system challenges and insufficient healthcare information. Astellas recognizes this problem as the Access to Health issue. To improve Access to Health, Astellas has identified four areas where we can leverage our strengths and technologies, and is working to solve issues, making full use of external partnerships. These areas are “creating innovation,” “enhancing availability,” “strengthening healthcare system” and “improving health literacy.”
We believe that undertaking initiatives for the improvement of Access to Health will contribute to the enhancement of the sustainability of society while the relationships of trust with external partners and various local governments cultivated through activities will also lead to the enhancement of the sustainability of Astellas at the same time.
For further information on Position on Access to Health, please visit here.
Contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were to build upon the Millennium Development Goals, were formally adopted as the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 associated targets.
Through business activities and measures to fulfill its corporate social responsibilities, Astellas aims to contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were established through a collaborative effort by the international community. For further detail, please visit here.
Identified SDGs Issues for Priority Actions
Focus on Improving Access to Health in Four Areas
In regard to “Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being” under the SDGs, Astellas is addressing this goal from the viewpoint of improving Access to Health. There are many people with insufficient access to the healthcare they need due to the lack of available treatments, poverty, challenges in healthcare systems and limited healthcare information. Astellas recognizes this problem as the Access to Health issue. Astellas has identified four areas where it is working to address Access to Health issues by making full use of the strengths and technology that it has. The four areas are (1) Creating innovation, (2) Enhancing availability, (3) Strengthening healthcare systems, and (4) Improving health literacy. In doing so, Astellas will make maximum use of its partnerships in the manner of Goal 17.
Combating Tropical Diseases
Neglected Tropical Diseases
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a serious healthcare issue that is being addressed on a global scale. NTDs are infections caused by parasite, bacteria and virus which are mainly endemic in tropical areas of developing countries. It is estimated that over 1 billion people are affected worldwide only with the 18 diseases* of NTDs on which currently WHO is focusing on. Since these patients do not have enough access to needed medicine and healthcare, NTDs are not only a global health challenge but are said to be associated with poverty and affect economic growth in developing countries.
*Group of 20 diseases: Buruli ulcer, Chagas disease, Taeniasis/Cysticercosis, Dengue and Chikugunya, Dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease), Echinococcosis, Foodborne trematodiasis, Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Leishmaniasis, Leprosy (Hansen disease), Lymphatic filariasis, Onchocerciasis (river blindness), Rabies, Schistosomiasis, Soil-transmitted helminthiasis, Trachoma, Endemic treponematoses (Yaws), Mycetoma, Scabies and other ectoparasites, Snakebite envenoming.
Astellas is committed to accelerate the discovery of new drugs for patients suffering from NTDs in the world by utilizing our know-how in drug discovery research through various partnerships.
Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases
In recent years, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease have become a major global health issue in both developed and developing nations. Various countermeasures which the health sector can contribute for combating NCDs, such as research and development of new innovative medicines and improvement of access to medicines, are essential, as are measures to increase health promotion and education of healthy lifestyles and well-balanced meals.
In addition to urology and transplantation therapeutic areas, known as our leading position globally, Astellas is focused on becoming a global category leader in oncology by developing a world-class oncology platform based on innovative, research-driven solutions and dynamic partnerships. Also, we support activities which promote prevention, management, and education of various diseases.
Counterfeit medicines are a crucial health issue worldwide. The spread of counterfeit medicines, or drugs not consistent with government-approved specifications, leads not only to the loss of opportunities to effectively treat patients, but to also health hazards.
To secure the quality of our pharmaceutical products for the safety of patients and our distribution channel, Astellas has established a division to conduct surveillance and create countermeasures for counterfeit medicines. We have implemented various counter-measurements in line with our mid-term action plan and have been reviewing events regularly through our counterfeit medicine surveillance.
We are one of the 27 pharmaceutical companies that are members of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, where we work closely with the global pharmaceutical industry, the WHO, and other international organizations. Astellas also conducts various educational activities designed to prevent the spread of counterfeit medicines and cooperates with law enforcement agencies to crackdown on counterfeit medicines.
Supporting Technology Transfer
Technology transfer is a key consideration in countries in need of bridging research-and-development gaps and increasing the availability of essential medicines. Pharmaceutical companies contribute to promote transfer of technology and production of medicines through multiple approaches such as identification of best practices, investment and capacity building through collaborative actions with governments as well as the private sector.
Astellas has supported technology transfer in, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and other countries.
Since 2011, we have contributed to the WHO TDR-IFPMA Fellowship Program in research and training in tropical diseases by having fellows, from Botswana, Ethiopia, and other countries working with Clinical Development/Project Management teams in the US and Europe to support Clinical R&D capacity building for treatment of infectious diseases in developing countries.
In October 2015, a third fellow from Republic of Mali joined the R&D group and training was provided until September 2016.
Dr. Etienne dit Anagalou Guirou,
Astellas' third fellow of the WHO TDR-IFPMA Fellowship Program.