Our commitment to improving access to medicines
At Astellas, we are committed to improving access to medicines while ensuring our therapies reach as many patients as possible.
This commitment will enhance the VALUE we are bringing to patients through our research and development efforts, which focus on serious diseases for which there is a high unmet medical need.(1) These disease areas typically require an even greater commitment to providing comprehensive access programs due to the pioneering and complex nature of our therapeutic approaches, the often challenging diagnostic requirements and the significant healthcare needs of the patients we serve.
Improving access to medicines throughout the product lifecycle
Improving access to medicines requires investment at all stages of the product lifecycle, from early planning and discovery through to clinical research, development and ultimately, bringing the therapy to market. We are working to ensure our end-to-end access to medicines strategy influences where we are delivering our therapies.
Enrollment in clinical trials is the most effective way to access investigational Astellas therapies before they have been approved. We are committed to improving the experience for patients, their families and caregivers by making participation in our trials more accessible. Where possible, we conduct decentralized clinical trials to allow for greater participation from home and local treatment centers. Outside of the clinical trial setting, we run early access and post-trial access programs to support patients with serious and life-threatening diseases seeking access to our investigational therapies. For example, between 2015 and 2021, Astellas’ Gilteritinib Early Access Program provided therapy in 35 countries to over 900 cancer patients who had exhausted all clinically available options for their disease.(2)
For some therapies, our international import program supports patients seeking access to medicines after approval and before reimbursement in their country. Additionally, our international pharmacy program can facilitate access to certain therapies in countries where the therapy is not yet approved.
We also have an end-to-end holistic planning process to widen affordability and access for all therapies and in all markets where we launch.
Once our therapies become commercially available in a specific country, we are committed to exploring ways to make our therapies affordable and accessible. For example, our patient access initiatives provide financial assistance to eligible patients who face challenges paying for care. We also consider the feasibility of donation programs for certain therapies as a route to make our therapies accessible in countries where they are not commercially available.
Collaborating with our partners to improve access
Improving access to medicines is complex and challenging, requiring collaboration between different stakeholders and healthcare providers at every stage of the patient journey. At Astellas, we work with multiple partners – including patient and non-profit organizations, governmental bodies, academia and other leading life science companies – at both the global and local level on a broad range of initiatives to help ensure our therapies can reach the patients who will most benefit.
Working toward a more sustainable future
At Astellas, we recognize that improving access to medicines is critical to the long-term health and sustainability of society. Providing access to medicines is a foundational element of our Corporate Strategic Plan(3) and a key measure for evaluating both personal and team success for our leadership and employees.
While we are making progress, we recognize there is more work to be done to improve the lives of patients worldwide, equitably and sustainably, through greater access to medicines. We are continually exploring ways in which we can expand access to medicines worldwide.
Astellas has a culture of doing good for others, which centers on putting patients, wherever they are, at the core of everything we do. We believe we will only fully deliver on our vision to turn innovative science into VALUE for patients if we improve access to medicines for the patients who need them most.
We won’t rest until we achieve this goal.
- Astellas. https://www.astellas.com/en/innovation/areas-of-interest#focus-area-approach: January 2022.
- Astellas, data on file.
- Astellas corporate strategic plan 2021. https://www.astellas.com/system/files/210526_astellas_csp2021_external_en2_0_0.pdf accessed: January 2022.