Promote proper use of medicines
Improving disease awareness, rates of diagnoses and encouraging appropriate use of medicines through health education is an important element of Shionogi's access efforts.
Initiatives to promote proper use of medicines
The growing problem of antibiotic resistance is a key concern for Shionogi and Shionogi is involved in global efforts to educate healthcare providers on stewardship of antibiotics.
Proper use and management
Companies selling antibiotics are responsible for promoting proper use to control Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR). Shionogi launched the AMR infectious disease drug cefiderocol in the United States in February 2020 under the product name "FETROJA". In Europe, it has been sequentially approved and released under the product name of "FETCROJA" since April 2020.
In areas where Shionogi sells its own antibacterial drugs, Shionogi does not remunerate sales staff based on sales volume of antibiotics. We expect that delinking of sales volume from revenue reward will support more proper use over the long term, leading to better patient outcomes and improving antibiotic sustainability.
The problem with expanding global access to cefiderocol is that in areas where AMR infections are serious, the medical environment is often poor due to public health and poverty, and it may be difficult to properly use infectious disease drugs.
In June 2022, Shionogi, the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP), and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) signed a collaboration agreement with the aim of expanding access to cefiderocol.* The collaboration agreement includes provisions to work with ministries of health and other experts to strengthen hospital-based stewardship programs that ensure appropriate use. These provisions are especially important to avoid fueling resistance to cefiderocol. By promoting the proper use of anti-infectives, Shionogi works constantly to prevent the emergence of new drug-resistant bacteria and viruses, and to ensure that patients can continue to receive treatment, both now and in the future.
In manufacturing activities, Shionogi discloses the detailed information on which antimicrobial-manufacturing plants, including our suppliers, meet the standards for antimicrobial concentrations in wastewater, and Shionogi is also the company with the highest transparency in the antimicrobial-manufacturing process. We also promote effluent management of antimicrobial agents in wastewater. This effort was highly evaluated in AMR Benchmark 2021* and Shionogi obtained 93, the highest score in the Manufacturing category.
*The world’s first report analyzing and evaluating AMR initiatives, issued by the Access to Medicine Foundation, a Netherlands-based NGO
In addition to promoting proper use of antibiotics, Shionogi supports global and national action plans to conduct more timely and coordinated surveillance for resistant bacteria. We organize and provide relevant information to promote proper use and stewardship of antibiotics, by such means as conducting surveillance programs aimed at gathering accurate epidemiological data, and rigorously analyzing industry guidelines.
In order to promote proper use of our flu drug Xofluza, we also have been assiduously conducting further analysis on mutant viral strains and drug safety, and making our findings public.
Public awareness and education programs
To promote proper use of anti-infectives, it is absolutely essential to conduct awareness-raising and educational activities that result in the understanding and spread of correct information concerning the prevention and control of disease and infection. Shionogi is actively engaging in such activities.
In 2021, Shionogi hosted seminars for the general public to promote public awareness.
-Summer school for elementary school students “COVID-19 and children all over the world” with World Vision Japan
-Industry-government-academia collaborated seminar "Infectious Disease Workshop in Elderly Facilities" co-sponsored by the Tokyo Health Center Directors' Association
-"Women's Health" seminar with Women's Health and Menopose Association
Furthermore, Shionogi has created a website "Jyosei Kansensho Navi” and “Koureisya Kansensho Navi” to help women and elderly people navigate the subject of infectious diseases. Shionogi also released "HIV / AIDS Learned from Manga" to spread correct information on HIV infection.
Recently, we also share information on our activities through Shionogi's official Twitter account.
Measures to encourage proper use of pain relievers
Raising awareness for cancer patients and the general public
Shionogi seeks to create a society in which patients suffering from cancer pain are able to use medical narcotics with peace of mind.
Back in the late 1980s when the WHO released its cancer pain treatment guidelines, medical narcotics (opioid analgesics) for cancer pain were not widely used in Japan. Shionogi was already supplying drugs for pain relief, and we received a request from the Ministry of Health and Welfare to develop medical narcotics. We took on the development of MS Contin tablets, which we launched in 1989. In the 30 years since then, Shionogi has worked in tandem with regulatory authorities, academia, and medical professionals, to achieve better analgesia for cancer patients. Recently the problem of prescription drug abuse, notably the opioid crisis in the US, has spread throughout the world, becoming a serious social problem.
As the responsibility of company that provides medical narcotics in Japan, to ensure that this problem does not arise in Japan, Shionogi will carry out activities that contribute to "strengthening the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including drug abuse and harmful intake of alcohol," as set forth in SDGs 3.5 through dialogues with various stakeholders. We will contribute to the realization of a society that does not cause substance abuse, including medical narcotics. At the same time, we will also carry out activities to achieve better analgesia for cancer patients suffering from pain.
Drug abuse prevention campaign with Aichi Prefecture
Every year, we carry out activities based on the "Aichi Prefecture's Drug Abuse Prevention Campaign Agreement" which was concluded with Aichi Prefecture in May 2018.
In November 2021, the Aichi Prefectural Open Lecture co-sponsored by Japanese Drug Organization of Appropriate Use and Research (J-DO) "- Getting to know medical narcotics as familiar painkillers that are familiar to you-" (WEB lecture) was held.
In this course, J-DO's president and vice president explained the misunderstandings that many people still have about medical narcotics (last resort, once you start using medical narcotics, you can't stop), precautions regarding their handling (Do not give medical narcotics to another person, keep it out of the reach of children and pets, have the medical narcotics that you no longer use be disposed at the hospital/pharmacy where you received the prescription), and the importance of appealing to medical professionals without enduring pain.
In addition to the above activities, we will hold a press seminar "To have you live your own life without enduring pain-everyone knows medical narcotics correctly-". The three speakers explained that eliminating the general public's misunderstandings about medical narcotics and understanding them correctly will also improve the quality of life of cancer patients with pain.
In addition to the website "Gan No Tsurasa-Tsurasa Kiite Tsutaete-“, enlightenment videos are posted on YouTube to tell the tips for communication about pain between cancer patients and medical professionals. These videos were created with Cancer Solutions Co., Ltd., a company run by cancer survivors. We are working to help as many cancer patients as possible achieve their goals that cancer patients desire.
Prevent Misuse and Abuse of Medicines for Doping in Sports
Shionogi affirms World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)'s efforts to prevent misuse and abuse of medicines for doping.
In addition to commercially available medicines, doping in sports is often misused or abused by compounds in the development stage for which detection methods have not yet been widely recognized or detected. The misuse and abuse of medicines and compounds for doping in sports can harm the health and fair competitiveness of athletes in sports world.
Shionogi hopes that athletes will maintain their health and play sports under fair conditions. Shionogi would like to fulfill its social responsibilities as a pharmaceutical company by sharing information on compounds under development.
Initiatives to remove communication barriers for sight- and hearing-impaired people
Communication Barrier-free Project（CBF-PJ）
Ensuring that all patients have access to necessary information to receive benefits of best possible medicines
At Shionogi, we think it extremely important that all patients—whether able-bodied or disabled—have access to the information necessary for medications to work properly. To that end, Shionogi has instigated the Communication Barrier-free Project, which seeks to improve the manner in which information is conveyed and eliminate communication barriers when people with disabilities receive medication instructions.
People with disabilities—in particular those with hearing or visual impairments—sometimes do not take medications as prescribed if they have not received sufficient information. While people with disabilities may struggle to take in information, this problem also can stem from the manner in which information is conveyed. Shionogi conducts activities aimed at educating various parties about the existence of such communication barriers.
Initiatives to promote understanding of neurodevelopmental disorders
Neurodevelopmental disorders manifest with characteristic symptoms affected by how the brain works. The symptoms present themselves in many different ways. Some people are troubled by the characteristic symptoms, while for many others, these symptoms are regarded as their individuality.
At Shionogi, we believe that it can be difficult to understand and support people with neurodevelopmental disorders partly because their symptoms manifest in such different ways. Rather than just providing pharmaceuticals to improve the symptoms, we are raising awareness of neurodevelopmental disorders in society to widen existing support networks, with the goal of creating an environment where individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders and their families can lead healthy lives.
Shionogi set up the Office for Children’s Bright Future in fiscal 2017 to work together with local governments and academia on various programs.