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August 30, 2016
Takeda Pharmaceutical has launched a new Access to Medicines (AtM) strategy in a move to enable wider reach of its life-saving drugs to patients in regions with high unmet medical needs. The initiative targets countries with less developed and evolving healthcare systems such as Latin America, South East Asia, and Africa. The focus will be on making medicines in areas of oncology, specialty gastroenterology, and vaccine candidates for communicable diseases such as dengue and chikungunya more accessible and affordable. 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 AtM strategy seeks to address multiple access barriers common in Sub-Saharan Africa. Objectives include the development of a lifecycle management strategy for existing medicines, accelerated registration of innovative medicines, increased participation of local centers in clinical trials, establishment of early access programs where applicable, and the introduction of innovative approaches to address affordability for those patients who cannot afford full-cost treatment.
This announcement coincides with the Sixth Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD-VI), and Takeda’s formal opening of offices in Nairobi, Kenya. In countries such as Kenya, 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.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities form an important part of Takeda’s AtM strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company is involved in two key programs. The Takeda Initiative is a 10-year program that started in 2010, in which Takeda, in collaboration with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, is working on strengthening the capacity of healthcare workers in Africa. The other program is HERhealth, which works to address the pressing social need for womens’ 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.