Initiatives for Patients and Consumers
Increasing Product Reliability
A Global-Standard Regulatory Compliance and Quality Assurance System
Chugai works hard to supply high-quality medicines and pharmaceuticals of superior efficacy and safety to healthcare providers around the world, and strives to ensure timely and accurate delivery of quality information on the proper use of its products.
Chugai’s fundamental views on reliability assurance are stated in the policy for regulatory compliance and quality assurance, and in the product lifecycle regulatory compliance and quality assurance system. This policy and system are based on our Mission Statement, which encompasses the Chugai Group’s mission, Core Values, and Envisioned Future, and on the Chugai BCG, which outline our code of conduct.
Regulatory Compliance and Quality Assurance System
Policy for Regulatory Compliance and Quality Assurance
The policy for regulatory compliance and quality assurance places specific emphasis on the following four points for ensuring reliability throughout the product lifecycle.
- (1) product quality
- (2) product information quality
- (3) business process quality
- (4) staff suitability
Under the policy for regulatory compliance and quality assurance, Chugai also works to ensure product reliability on a global basis.
Handling of Inquiries by the Medical Information Department
Advances in scientific technology in recent years have seen the development of many innovative drugs and treatment methods, but at the same time, treatments have grown more sophisticated and complex, and there is a need to offer the right patients the appropriate therapies at the appropriate time. To achieve these goals, it is important that both healthcare providers and patients themselves actively participate in treatment, and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly required to provide more detailed information in lay terms on product quality, effectiveness and safety to ensure that drugs are used appropriately.
Chugai’s Medical Information Dept. responds to inquiries from patients, their families and healthcare providers via telephone, our website, e-mail and other diverse channels. Taking advantage of the benefits of being a member of the Roche Group, it provides the latest, most appropriate information that is also highly specialized and globally consistent.
Medical Information Dept. received approximately 60,000 inquiries in 2016, on par with the previous year. About 75 percent of the inquiries came from pharmacists in hospitals or community pharmacies. By drug category, anti-influenza agents accounted for about 18 percent of all inquiries. The center also received many inquiries concerning anticancer agents, osteoporosis treatments, humanized anti-human IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody for treatment, and long-acting erythropoietin-stimulating agents.
The staff at the center will continue working together to enhance customer satisfaction with a patient-oriented philosophy.
Number of Inquiries Received
Inquiries by Treatment Area (2016)
Contributing to Patient-Centered Healthcare
Conducting Support Activities for Patients
Employees participated as volunteers.
Relay for Life Japan (RFLJ)
Relay for Life Japan
The Relay for Life is an awareness support campaign that forges ties in the fight against cancer. A 24-hour walk-a-thon, in which cancer patients, their families and supporters compete as relay teams, the event marked its 10th anniversary in 2016, when it was held in 50 locations throughout Japan. Chugai employees have participated as volunteers in the RFLJ since 2007. In 2016, a total of 639 employees participated in “Team Chugai” at 29 locations nationwide. 1,515 people participated in the lung cancer version of the virtual reality 3D Adventure Experience at 26 venues nationwide, part of our disease awareness activities. As “Team Chugai” members described the display, users looked into a viewer to find video explaining that even those who do not smoke should go for cancer screening, gaining an understanding of the importance of early discovery and treatment of lung cancer through a positive, fun experience.
NPO Shuhei Ogita Fund Supporting Patients with Infantile Lymphangioma
For 26 years, Chugai has worked with the nonprofit organization the Shuhei Ogita Fund (http://www.fund-ogita.org/) to provide an agent for treating lymphangiomas*1 free of charge to children around the world suffering from this rare disease. To date, Chugai has provided this drug in over 80 countries around the world.
*1 A rare disease in which lymphatic fluid abnormally pools in the lymphatic vessels. In many cases it is found at birth. Unlike cancer, lymphatic malformations are benign, but can retard a child’s development, and occasionally the cysts compress the respiratory tract and become life-threatening.
Chugai Academy for Advanced Oncology Holds International Forum 2016
IAAO 2016, a CHAAO event
The International Academy for Advanced Oncology (IAAO) 2016, the largest event of the Chugai Academy for Advanced Oncology (CHAAO)*2, took place in Tokyo in July 2016. The theme of this seventh annual forum was “Dynamisms in Innovations for Precision Medicine and Novel Approaches for Cancer Therapy.” Thirteen influential oncologists working at the forefront of their field gave lectures on cutting-edge cancer therapies, which were followed by fervent discussions. This year’s topics covered a wide range of cutting-edge research, including the forefront of cancer patient genome and genetic analysis aimed at precision medicine; epigenetics, DNA repair mechanisms and microRNA, all of which are gaining attention as next-generation treatment strategies; molecular target drug discovery, including drug resistance; the cancer metastasis mechanism; as well as 3D organotypic cancer models (organoids). The Japanese oncologists who participated in this event praised it as extremely informative and meaningful. CHAAO is in its seventh year, and is making steady progress. In addition to the core international forum, it also co-hosts the Focus Symposium on topics in global cancer research and treatment; supports academic and research societies in basic research that will lead to future cancer research and treatments; and has established the JCA-CHAAO Award presented at the annual meeting of the Japanese Cancer Association.
Forum for Japan Cancer Patients (FFJCP)
It also supports sound, innovative advocacy efforts*3 by cancer patient groups, and since 2013 has worked to support patient groups as part of the goal of achieving patient-centered healthcare. In January 2016, we held the second Forum for Japan Cancer Patients: FFJCP in Tokyo. The conference featured the participation of 49 domestic organizations and 90 attendees, who learned about one another’s activities and deepened their interaction. In addition, two speakers were invited from the U.S., and offered lectures on “Patient-centered Healthcare in Massachusetts: The Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC) *4,” and “Patient Participation in Pharmaceutical Development.” Both generated lively discussions. In March, seven representatives of patient groups in Japan attended the International Experience Exchange for Patient Organizations (IEEPO)*5, a conference held in Copenhagen at which about 200 representatives of patient organizations from around the world gathered to share information about their treatment experiences. Through these and other programs, CHAAO will continue its efforts to help raise cancer treatment in Japan to a world-class level.
*2 Founded in October 2009 to contribute to the establishment and advancement of infrastructure for cancer treatment in Japan. To bring cancer treatment in Japan to a world-class level, CHAAO promotes deeper academic exchange between the world’s top specialists in oncology, and healthcare professionals who play a leading role in cutting-edge research and treatment of cancer in Japan.
*3 Generally speaking, this refers to activities intended to address societal issues by having an impact on governments and municipal bodies, as well as similar entities, and encouraging the formation and transformation of public policy. In this specific context, however, it refers to activities intended to widely publicize issues related to improving treatment for cancer patients (both the quality of treatment and quality of life), while also recommending possible solutions to governments, municipal bodies and other relevant institutions.
*4 Under a law enacted in the U.S. state of Massachusetts, hospitals are required to hold regular meetings of a committee, the majority of whose members are patients and their families, intended to improve hospital operations and resolve problems. Those committees are referred to as Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs).
*5 A conference sponsored and supported by Roche. Representatives of patient organizations from around the world encompassing a variety of diseases gather to discuss their experiences with activities related to each year’s theme, and to share and discuss both successes and failures. The conference is intended to provide participants with shared experiences and knowledge they can then take home and utilize in their own patient groups; the conference program is prepared by the patient groups themselves.
Supporting Researchers from Asia
The Tokyo Biochemical Research Foundation (TBRF)
Chugai conducts an international joint fellowship program through the Tokyo Biochemical Research Foundation (TBRF).
Established in 1960, the TBRF received approval as a public interest incorporated foundation from the Cabinet Office on September 1, 2010, and marked its 50th anniversary on December 1 the same year. Chugai provides support for one of the TBRF’s core grant functions, an international joint research fellowship program inviting young postdoctoral researchers from Asia to Japan to conduct joint research at universities and scientific research institutions for one to two years. Since this program was launched in 1995, it has supported 91 researchers from 17 Asian countries and regions.
At the 20th TBRF Party held in March 2016, 14 young researchers invited to attend from India, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, China, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Myanmar presented the results of their research.
Chugai will continue to enhance and develop this program to promote medical and pharmaceutical research in Asia centered on Japan, and help to raise the level of basic research related to drug therapy and discovery of new drugs.
(Refer to this page for more information on the Tokyo Biochemical Research Foundation: http://www.tokyobrf.or.jp/english/)