Launches of new products, the introduction of additional indications and a growing product lineup have made Chugai the number-one provider of anti-cancer medicines in Japan. With this success come higher expectations from society. To become a true leader in cancer treatment, we have begun various initiatives to develop CHUGAI ONCOLOGY into the strongest, most trusted brand and to make Chugai synonymous with oncology.
The CHUGAI ONCOLOGY Vision
Chugai has positioned oncology (care of cancer) as one of its target therapeutic areas and has promoted the widespread use of its products. However, the oncology environment has changed dramatically in recent years with national initiatives to fight cancer, including measures to promote patient participation in their own treatment. In 2008, Chugai issued its Core Message and Three Action Policies to strengthen its activities from the standpoint of patients, and applied them throughout the Chugai Group. At the same time, we set out our vision of "realizing cancer treatment that allows patients to confront their disease proactively and with hope." We are undertaking various initiatives to fulfill this vision.
Summary of Action Policies
- 1. Contribute to Improving the Quality of Cancer Care
- In addition to concentrating resources on research and development of innovative and useful drugs (anti-cancer agents) that help to heal and extend the lives of cancer patients, providing accurate and timely information on side effects and other aspects of drug safety is one of our fundamental activities as a pharmaceutical company.
- 2. Contribute to Spreading the Use of Standards of Care
- Establishing standards of care to promote equitable Access1 to cancer care is one of the objectives of the Japanese government’s Basic Plan to Promote Cancer Control Programs, which was issued in June 2007. Cancer treatment has traditionally been conducted at the discretion of the doctor. However, with the introduction of molecular targeted therapies and other breakthrough cancer drugs during the past decade, drug therapy has become extremely difficult for doctors to undertake alone. In order to realize cancer treatment that gives patients hope, treatment must be carried by a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Based on this idea, Chugai has been conducting activities to support popularization of the multidisciplinary team approach since 2006.
- 3. Contribute to Creating an Environment of Hope
- With growing awareness of concepts such as informed consent and second opinion, patients are becoming more actively involved in deciding their own treatment. Moreover, the growth of the Internet has given patients the ability to gather a variety of information. Amid these trends, Chugai is providing information on its website and conducting educational activities to help create an environment in which patients can confront cancer proactively and with hope.
1. The Japanese government is moving to rectify regional disparities in medical technology and other aspects of care so that patients can receive standard specialized therapies anywhere in Japan.
Activities in 2009 That Contributed to Creating an Environment of Hope
- Establishment of Cancer Information Website for Patients
Chugai has launched Cancer Information Guide, a website for patients. This site employs a navigation tool — the first in the industry — to help patients sort through the plethora of information and find easy-to-understand explanations from medical specialists on cancer therapies and mental health care suited to their specific conditions. Chugai will continue to further enhance the content of the site to provide information to more cancer patients.
- Co-sponsorship of, and Employee Participation in, Relay For Life
Chugai has co-sponsored the Relay For Life (RFL) 2 cancer education support campaign since 2007, and Chugai employees participate as volunteers. In 2009, we invited participants not only from the head office but also from branches and research laboratories, and a total of 340 employees participated in RFL events at 13 sites throughout Japan. A Giant Colon was displayed at three of these sites to educate visitors about colorectal cancer. Chugai plans to further enliven this event in 2010 and beyond through voluntary employee participation.
- Giant Colon
The Giant Colon is an inflatable tunnel-shaped replica of a human colon created by a nonprofit organization of patients with colorectal cancer in Europe to inform people about this disease. Visitors who enter the tunnel, which is more than two meters high, can explore what goes on inside the colon and see colorectal polyps. The exhibit generates interest among visitors of all ages while helping them understand the importance of cancer screenings.
2. A fundraising event started in Tacoma, Washington in 1985 by Dr. Gordy Klatt of the American Cancer Society to fight cancer. Doctors, patients and their families participate as teams in a 24-hour walking relay to foster solidarity in the fight against cancer. The event is now held in 20 countries around the world. The first Relay For Life in Japan took place in Ibaraki Prefecture in 2006. (Source: Japan Cancer Society website)
- Co-sponsorship of Pink Ribbon campaign
- Special Sponsorship of Charity concert
- Publication of Cancer Information Pamphlets for Patients