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Contributing to Achievement of the SDGs in Four Areas

Position on Access to Health

Astellas’ vision is to be on the forefront of changing medicine and turning scientific process into value for patients. Astellas is acutely aware of the situation where barriers still remain 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 an Access to Health issue. To improve Access to Health, Astellas has identified four areas where we can leverage our strengths and technologies: (1) creating innovation, (2) enhancing availability, (3) strengthening the healthcare system and (4) improving health literacy. We will make full use of our research and development of new drugs based on a Focus Area Approach and our external partnerships to tackle such issues. We believe that undertaking initiatives to create innovation and otherwise improving Access to Health will help enhance the sustainability of society, and developing relationships built on trust with external partners and local governments cultivated through these activities will also make Astellas more sustainable.

Contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a Focus on Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being

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Astellas is tackling the sustainable development goals (SDGs) with a focus on Goal 3 “Good Health and Well-being,” which has the strongest affinity to its raison d’être to “contribute toward improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products.” Health is not just a healthcare issue, because losing health can restrict opportunities for education or employment and can sometimes be the cause of poverty. In light of this, attaining Goal 3 will also contribute to achieving the other SDGs.

Improving Access to Health in Four Areas

Astellas focuses on strengthening initiatives to improve access to health as one of strategic goals outlined in the Corporate Strategic Plan 2021 and aims to contribute to the attainment of Goal 3 of the SDGs though such initiatives.

Many people still have difficulty accessing the healthcare they need due to the lack of available treatment, poverty, healthcare system challenges and insufficient healthcare information. Astellas recognizes this problem as an Access to Health issue. To improve Access to Health, Astellas has identified four areas where it can leverage its strengths and technologies, and is working to solve issues, making full use of external partnerships. These areas are “creating innovation,” “enhancing availability,” “strengthening the healthcare system” and “improving health literacy.” In doing so, Astellas will make maximum use of its partnerships in alignment to Goal 17 of the SDGs.

In the area of (1) creating innovation, Astellas conducts research and development based on a Focus Area Approach, combining innovative biology and modalities/technologies to develop therapeutic approaches for diseases where high unmet medical needs exist. Moreover, Astellas has been working with partners on collaborative research to identify lead compounds for tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases (Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease), and to develop a pediatric formulation of praziquantel tablets for the treatment of schistosomiasis. Furthermore, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Astellas has been cooperating with the development of COVID-19 treatments in cooperation with the bodies concerned to provide drugs in response to requests by the government.

In terms of (2) enhancing availability, Astellas has established programs to assist patients who face severe financial constraints with the cost of pharmaceutical products and also supports patients by not filing or enforcing patents in countries facing significant economic challenges. Astellas has also established a cross-departmental project to make its medicines more widely available to patients.

In the areas of (3) strengthening healthcare systems and (4) improving health literacy, Astellas participates in Access Accelerated, a global initiative which aims to contribute to achieving the SDG of reducing premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by one-third by 2030. Astellas has supported ACTION ON FISTULATM helping transform the lives of women in Kenya who have been suffering with obstetric fistula. Furthermore, Astellas has also donated ambulances and wheelchair transport vehicles and moved forward with activities supporting patient associations in Japan.

Additionally, the Astellas Global Health Foundation‘s mission is to improve Access to Health in locations where Astellas does not have a business presence.