To reflect on the developments of the last two years Takeda has launched the inaugural Access to Medicines Progress Report. The report outlines our efforts across our key pillars – Strategic Partnerships, Shaping Public Policy, Innovative Access, and Capacity Building – to help address the unmet needs of patients in underserved communities around the world.
Access to innovative medicines and quality healthcare is vital to the well-being of people, yet it remains a significant issue around the world, particularly in countries with evolving healthcare systems.
With Takeda’s Access to Medicines (AtM) strategy, we are expanding our existing commitments to enhance global health so that eligible patients in evolving healthcare systems can have access to our innovative and potentially life-saving medicines, even if their ability to pay for the full cost of treatment is limited.
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 patients’ lives.
Our Access to Medicines strategy also goes beyond medicines by encompassing efforts in areas such as Research & Development (R&D), philanthropy, donations and healthcare capacity building.
In 2018, as a result of our ambitious and comprehensive Access to Medicines strategy, the Access to Medicine Foundation ranked Takeda number 5 in the latest Access to Medicine Index. In particular they highlighted Takeda’s commitment to capacity building with a focus on health system strengthening and the development of the Cancer Alliance*. The Access to Medicine Index assesses and rates the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies according to their commitment and achievements in access to medicine.
Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) are a cornerstone of Takeda’s AtM strategy. These PAPs are designed to ensure that eligible patients living in countries with evolving healthcare systems, and prescribed some of our potentially life-saving medicines, are able to access them through innovative, affordability-based approaches. Our current PAPs use a collaborative model where patients, Takeda, and at times, local authorities, foundations, medical associations, charities and other parties, share the cost of treatment.
Patients are already benefiting from our PAPs, and we intend to put more of these programs in place across South East Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
Affordability, and the provision of medicines, are not the only access to medicines barriers that patients face. This is why Takeda’s AtM strategy also goes beyond medicines by encompassing efforts in areas such as R&D, philanthropy, donations and healthcare capacity building.
For example, in Brazil, we are making it easier for patients prescribed Entyvio® for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) to treat and manage their condition by mapping a network of available infusion clinics across the country, and providing personalized support to patients post-infusion and treatment. In the Philippines, we will collaborate with a local transportation partner to improve diagnosis and treatment of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, delivering portable diagnostic kits to and from the country’s most remote islands.
We are the first Japanese pharmaceutical company to have a physical presence in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where we are adopting a not-for-profit approach. We are working with a range of partners in SSA to enhance local cancer management capacity, increase access to diagnosis and treatment, and address access barriers for other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
We have begun our journey towards establishing Nairobi, Kenya, as a Center of Excellence in oncology/haematology diagnosis, treatment and care. One of the major objectives of our efforts in Nairobi is to support learning exchange and training for African oncologists and pathologists.
Takeda has also established a fellowship program for employees to share skills, experience and technical expertise to support local healthcare capacity building in SSA, working with local healthcare professionals, scientists and NGOs.
By making AtM a critical component of Takeda’s global R&D approach, our goal is to ensure that our pipeline of innovative medicines can make a meaningful difference to patients’ lives in the communities we serve around the world, particularly in countries where access to healthcare and medicines is challenging.
Recognizing that communicable diseases and neglected tropical diseases also place a disproportionate burden on patients in countries with evolving healthcare systems, we are supporting the development of new medicines and vaccines to address these diseases through non-profit, public-private partnerships, as well as through our Vaccines Business Unit.
Importantly, our patient-centric approach to R&D goes beyond the development and provision of medicines, and strives for sustainable patient impact through local healthcare capacity building.
Takeda has a number of established CSR programs that contribute to our AtM strategy by prioritizing quality of life through disease prevention and local healthcare capacity building.
These far-reaching CSR programs include:
Recognizing that communicable diseases and neglected tropical diseases disproportionately affect countries with evolving healthcare systems, Takeda is collaborating with partners to expedite access to its potentially life-saving vaccine candidates, which address some of today’s most challenging infectious diseases.
Our priority vaccine candidates include dengue, norovirus, hand, foot & mouth disease, chikungunya and polio.
Phase 3 clinical trials for Takeda’s dengue vaccine candidate (TAK-003) commenced in 2016. In addition, Takeda is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop, license and supply at least 50 million doses of a polio virus vaccine annually for a period of 10 years at affordable prices to more than 70 countries. This has received support from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), as part of the final global ‘push’ to eradicate polio.
Furthermore, the US government has selected Takeda’s Vaccine Business Unit to develop a vaccine to support the Zika response in the US and affected regions around the world.
In Least Developed Countries* (LDCs), Takeda will either not file, or not enforce, patents for our innovative and potentially life-saving medicines.
* Least Developed Country (LDC) as defined by the United Nations. October 2014.