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Press Release

Takeda Announces Bold, New Access to Medicines Strategy

Posted on: 27 Aug 16

OSAKA, Japan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TOKYO:4502) today announced the launch of a bold, new Access to Medicines (AtM) strategy, aimed at increasing access to its innovative and potentially life-saving medicines for patients with some of the highest unmet medical needs. For decades, the company has provided product, funding and access in many parts of the world, based on regional needs. The new AtM strategy builds on that by focusing on geographies and therapy areas with the highest unmet need.

This comprehensive approach is focused on countries with less developed and evolving healthcare systems in areas such as Latin America, South East Asia and Africa, where sustainable approaches to tackle barriers that limit access to medicines are needed to make a meaningful impact on patient lives. Of the 38 million people who die from non-communicable diseases each year, three quarters – or 28 million – of these deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.

“Access to innovative medicines and quality healthcare is vital to the health of people across the world,” said Christophe Weber, president and CEO, Takeda. “In line with Takeda’s values, our Access to Medicines strategy will expand on our existing commitments to enhance global health, so that our innovative and potentially life-saving medicines can be more accessible and affordable to patients in regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The announcement coincides with the Sixth Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD-VI), and the Company’s formal opening of offices in Nairobi, Kenya, from where Takeda aims to forge sustainable AtM partnerships across Sub-Saharan Africa adopting a ‘not-for-profit’ approach.

Takeda’s new AtM strategy will focus on increasing access to some of its most innovative medicines in the areas of oncology and specialty gastroenterology, as well as its vaccine candidates for communicable diseases such as dengue and chikungunya. As part of the Company’s not-for-profit approach in Sub-Saharan Africa, Takeda is also working to improve patient access to some of its diabetes and hypertension medicines.

The initiative aims to address multiple access barriers common across regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa - including development of AtM-targeted life-cycle management for its existing medicines, accelerated registration of its innovative medicines, increased participation of local centres in clinical trials, establishment of early access programs where applicable, and introduction of innovative approaches to address affordability for those patients whose ability to pay the full cost of treatment is limited.

“Takeda is committed to help advance patient health via collaborative, affordability-based approaches that bring together key stakeholders to ensure our latest, innovative medicines reach the patients that need them. We have rolled-out comprehensive patient assistance programs in a number of Emerging Markets. Our aspiration is that eligible patients who are prescribed Takeda’s potentially life-saving medicines will be able to get access to them,” commented Takeda’s Giles Platford, president, Emerging Markets Business Unit.

In countries such as Kenya, Takeda’s approach goes beyond medicines. The company is working with several partners to enhance local cancer management capacity, increase access to treatment, and address access barriers for other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. “We aim to establish Nairobi, Kenya as a regional center of excellence for Sub-Saharan Africa in the area of oncology/haematology,” commented Isabel Torres, Takeda’s Global Head, Access to Medicines. “To further that goal, and make a sustainable contribution, Takeda will work alongside governments, NGOs, healthcare professionals, patient associations and local community in multiple Public-Private Partnerships. The opening of our Nairobi office is a significant step forward in helping forge those collaborations and in enabling patients in the region gain better access to medicines.”

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities are an important cornerstone of Takeda’s AtM strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Two key programs include the Takeda Initiative, a 10-year program started in 2010 to partner with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by strengthening the capacity of healthcare workers in Africa; and HERhealth, which works to address the pressing social need for women’s health awareness and services. Takeda has supported the initiative since 2015 in partnership with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and aims to expand the program reach to women in Ethiopia and Kenya.

About Takeda
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is a global, research and development-driven pharmaceutical company committed to bringing better health and a brighter future to patients by translating science into life-changing medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on oncology, gastroenterology and central nervous system therapeutic areas plus vaccines. Takeda conducts R&D both internally and with partners to stay at the leading edge of innovation. New innovative products, especially in oncology and gastroenterology, as well as our presence in Emerging Markets, fuel the growth of Takeda. More than 30,000 Takeda employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients, working with our partners in health care in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit

Media Background: Initiatives under Takeda’s Access to Medicines Strategy

1. Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)
A cornerstone of Takeda’s Access to Medicines strategy are their PAPs, specifically designed to ensure that eligible patients living in countries with evolving healthcare systems and prescribed some of Takeda’s life-saving medicines are able to access the full course of treatment, in a sustainable way, through innovative, affordability-based approaches. Designed and intended to make the full course of treatment more affordable, PAPs will be tailored to address local needs via different collaborative cost-sharing models between patients, Takeda, and at times, charities, medical societies and other parties. Takeda aims to put a number of these programs in place across South East Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

2. Going “Beyond Medicines”
Affordability, and the provision of medicines, are not the only barriers faced by patients to access medicines. To overcome these barriers, Takeda is developing programs that “go beyond medicines” in the Philippines, Brazil and Ukraine - countries that represent the complex healthcare landscapes of their respective regions, where significant barriers to access exist and where Takeda’s is sufficiently equipped to have the biggest impact.

In Brazil, Takeda is providing personalised patient support and increasing patients’ convenience by mapping out a network of infusion clinics within the country for patients prescribed with Entyvio for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

In the Philippines, Takeda will work with local transportation partners to overcome considerable geographical challenges and deliver portable diagnostic kits for the treatment of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma to and from the country’s remote islands

3. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)
Takeda aims to establish Nairobi, Kenya as a center of excellence in oncology/haematology diagnosis, care and treatment in SSA. One of the major objectives of its efforts in Nairobi will be to support learning exchanges and training for African oncologists and pathologists. Given the shortage of cancer specialists in the region, Takeda is funding a fellowship program for first year oncology students at the University of Nairobi as part of a Public-Private Partnership, to help create a pipeline of future oncologists.

Takeda is also establishing a fellowship program for its employees to share skills, experience and technical expertise to support local healthcare capacity building in SSA, working with local HCPs, scientists and NGOs. Other initiatives currently in development in SSA include patient awareness interventions and Patient Assistance Programs to address affordability barriers to accessing some of its innovative medicines.

To help address the burdens of diabetes and hypertension, Takeda is establishing a long-term partnership with select local counties in Kenya and to create a mobile screening program for diabetes and hypertension. The Company will also improve access to some of its diabetes and hypertension medicines in SSA.

4. Takeda’s Research & Development (R&D)
Takeda’s global R&D Access to Medicines efforts focus on improving access to innovative medicines in countries with evolving healthcare systems by increasing participation in its clinical trials, in partnership with local health authorities, so the Company’s innovative medicines are potentially approved faster1; accelerating registration of its medicines and establishing early access programs, where allowed, through the targeted life-cycle management of its existing medicines.

The patient-centric approach to R&D in these countries goes beyond the development and provision of medicines as well, striving for sustainable patient impact through local healthcare capacity building.

Communicable diseases (CDs) and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) also place a disproportionate burden on patients in countries with evolving healthcare systems. Takeda is supporting the development of new medicines and vaccines to address these diseases through non-profit, public-private partnerships, as well as through its Vaccine Business Unit.

Takeda is a founding member of the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund, a pioneering, non-profit public-private partnership established in Japan in April 2013 by the Government of Japan, a consortium of five Japanese pharmaceutical companies, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to promote the discovery and development of new drugs to fight communicable diseases in countries with evolving healthcare systems:

Following Takeda’s lead, ten additional global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies joined the GHIT Fund in June of 2016.

Takeda is a collaborative partner through GHIT on projects for malaria, tuberculosis, Chagas disease, and Leishmaniasis.

The Company is also establishing Research & Development partnerships for CDs and NTDs with:

Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi)

Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)

The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance)

WIPO Re:Search: a consortium established by the World Intellectual property Organization (WIPO), in collaboration with BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), to accelerate R&D of new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics for neglected tropical diseases, malaria and tuberculosis.

1 Subject to local regulatory approvals

5. Takeda’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiatives
Takeda’s on-going CSR programs also contribute to its Access to Medicines strategy by prioritising quality of life through disease prevention and local healthcare capacity building. Established programs include:

The Takeda Initiative: A ten-year program started in 2010 to support the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by strengthening the capacity of healthcare workers in Africa.

HERhealth: An initiative addressing the pressing need for women’s health awareness and services in evolving healthcare systems. Takeda has supported HERhealth since 2015 with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and aims to expand its reach to China, Ethiopia, Kenya and India in 2016 and 2017.

Recent Takeda CSR programs which commenced in FY2016 include:

Global Measles Vaccination for Children: In partnership with UN Foundation, Takeda made a 10-year commitment to immunize 5.4 million children with the measles vaccine in 40 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Community Health Workers Training for Maternal and Child Health: In partnership with World Vision, Takeda aims to build the capacity of 1,400 community health workers to reduce preventable deaths in children by providing some 500,000 people with health knowledge and services over five years in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan.

Maternal and Child Health for Minority Tribes program: In partnership with Save the Children Japan, Takeda is supporting a program in Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos by providing 150,000 village people, including 40,000 women and children in minority tribes, with healthcare education, training and services over five years.

Digital Birth Registration: In partnership with Plan International Japan, Takeda is working for three years with the Government of Kenya to promote, an essential step to ensuring that children enjoy full rights and gain access to healthcare and education.


Media Contacts:
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
Vince Docherty, +65 8332 4233
Jocelyn Gerst, +1 224 554 5542
Kazumi Kobayashi, +81 (3) 3278-2095

For more information:

Editor's Details

Mike Wood

Last updated on: 27/08/2016

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