Society ＞ Together with Patients and Healthcare Professionals Information Provision
MR's Responsibility: Collecting Data and Providing Information to Medical Institutions
The Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Group employs about 1,500 medical representatives (MRs) in Japan. Through the provision of information to healthcare professionals nationwide, MRs are working to deliver optimal drugs to patients.
The Important Role of MRs
- Communication of safety information and scientifically based academic information on the proper use of ethical drugs.
- Collection of information on drug efficacy and safety that could not be gleaned at the R&D stage, and reporting evaluations based on those results
We have assigned MRs who are specialists in specific disease areas to be responsible for drugs that require a higher level of expertise.
Providing Comprehensive Information through Seminars
By holding disease awareness seminars and events, we provide information to help patients and society deepen their understanding of diseases and lead a better life.
Nikkei Health Seminar 21
With the cooperation of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, Nikkei Health Seminar 21 was held in November 2019 under the title “I want to tell you about Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).” (Sponsored by Nihon Keizai Shimbun with support from the Japan Kidney Association).
The seminar was divided into two parts: a lecture given by a specialist and a panel discussion. The lecture not only presented the symptoms and progress of the disease, but also clearly covered points for early detection and described the Japan Kidney Association's efforts to overcome kidney disease. The panel discussion, while giving feedback from a medical viewpoint to the questions of participants, provided valuable information about the importance of early detection of CKD, the ability to detect diseases with simple methods such as urinalysis and blood tests, and being careful to maintain one's kidney functions in daily life. The seminar's content was later published in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun's evening edition.
Japan World Psoriasis Day 2019 – Let's get CONNECTED
We supported “Japan World Psoriasis Day 2019 – Let's get CONNECTED,” a World Psoriasis Day (October 29) related event sponsored by INSPIRE JAPAN WPD – The Japanese Association for Public Awareness of Psoriasis.
On that day, specialists explained not only psoriasis, but also other skin-related intractable diseases and described their experiences regarding treatment. The panel discussion between psoriasis patients and doctors included a question and answer session about the everyday worries and experiences of various patients.
Media coverage was extensive, and it was a valuable seminar that fulfilled the purpose of World Psoriasis Day of imparting a correct understanding of the disease, even to those with no knowledge of it, and raising people's awareness.
On the day of the event, while viewers were watching it via live broadcast connecting the main Tokyo venue with satellite venues in Sapporo, Utsunomiya, and Fukuoka, questions sent on Twitter and YouTube were answered.
Providing Information for Self-Medication
Self-medication means to be “responsible for one's own health and self-treatment for minor ailments” (WHO definition). In Japan, the importance of self-medication has spread due to sharply rising national medical costs associated with increasing life expectancy.
In the area of dermatology, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma conducts a variety of educational programs through TV commercials and websites to help people suffering from dermatological problems to obtain accurate information and find a treatment as quickly as possible. Of these, the Hifu No Koto site provides information, based on the opinions of experts, such as doctors and pharmacists.
In the gastrointestinal area, we have presented the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a disease that causes diarrhea and constipation accompanied by abdominal pain due to stress, in an easy-to-understand manga (comic strip) format on our product site. We are also educating people on lifestyle improvement through self-medication.
*Reference: Hifu no Koto site
Number of users: 1.35 million (as of FY2019)
Overseas Sales Activities
The Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Group provides appropriate usage information through local subsidiaries overseas in order to support the appropriate use of the Company's pharmaceuticals. In addition to the U.S., these subsidiaries are located in Europe (U.K., Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and in Asia (China, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand). MRs involved in drug information provision activities visit medical institutions and doctors, participate in related academic conferences, exchange opinions with specialists, and provide the latest academic information. In this way, MRs are working each day to be able to contribute to the diagnosis and treatment activities of healthcare professionals.
Activities in the United States
Radicava was approved as a treatment agent for ALS in the U.S. in May 2017 and launched in August. It is marketed by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America. The Searchlight Support initiative was established to provide support to patients who have been prescribed Radicava. In line with the needs of each patient who has been prescribed Radicava, the programs provided through Searchlight Support will include treatment management and insurance reimbursement support. In these ways, we are supporting ALS patients.
We assist young people whose families have been diagnosed with ALS, by conducting the ALSO US program, which widely shares their experiences through art including photographs, graphics, and poetry. We also extensively support the activities of organizations by sponsoring and participating in charity events such as the ALS Walk.
Activities in China
In July 2019, we obtained approval for edaravone as a treatment agent for ALS. We filed for approval in China through Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Development (Beijing), our local subsidiary. Tianjin Tanabe Seiyaku, our subsidiary in China, is expected to carry out sales.
In September 2019, we entered into a licensing agreement with our partner (Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd.) regarding a license to sell edaravone in Brazil. To maximize the value of edaravone, the Group will expand the number of countries where it operates and also develop oral agents as a new route of administration. We expect this agreement to provide a foothold for edaravone sales in Latin America.
The Group will work hard so that it can deliver edaravone as a treatment agent for ALS to as many patients fighting ALS as possible.
Providing Information through Websites
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma has set up the following health support websites.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Crohn's disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Behcet's disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Cerebral infarction
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinocerebellar degeneration and multiple system atrophy
- Liver failure
- Chronic kidney disease
- Sleep disorders
- Tinea unguium
- Eczema and dermatitis
On these websites, we provide useful information in an easy-to-understand format with illustrations about the symptoms, diagnoses, and treatment of these diseases that helps many people gain a proper understanding of disease, the importance of treatment, and supports the daily lives of patients and their families. We have also prepared leaflets that summarize the information on the health support websites so that healthcare professionals including doctors and pharmacists can present them to patients and their families.
In fiscal 2019, about 10.36 million people visited these health support websites.
Providing Comprehensive Information through the Medical Information Center
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma has established its own Medical Information Center to respond directly to inquiries from patients and healthcare professionals (physicians, pharmacists, wholesalers, and others). For patients, this is the only company information center. With a motto of “reliable, accurate, and prompt,” the center provides information that is easy to understand while at the same time making certain not to dispense the type of medical advice that should only come from a physician. We are working each day to improve our skills so that we identify the true needs behind the inquiries and respond in a way that increases the satisfaction of the people making inquiries.
The Medical Information Center receives more than 50,000 inquiries a year on a wide range of subjects. It also provides information on the appropriate use of the Company's products while utilizing basic pharmaceutical information and the in-house Q&A system.
Valuable information that the center receives from customers about safety, such as drug side effects, and quality is shared internally. In this way, the center helps improve products, enhance reliability and discover future new drugs.
In recent years, the diversification of information sources for patients and healthcare professionals and the development of digital technology has caused a decrease in the percentage of telephone inquiries, even in the pharmaceutical industry. On the other hand, the percentage of information provided by unmanned information channels has increased. We are enhancing the quality and quantity of the product Q&A on our website while providing information that can better meet customer needs.
Moving forward, the center will respond flexibly to changes in the times and provide appropriate usage information for pharmaceuticals in a reliable, accurate, and prompt manner. In this way, we will work to contribute to improved health for patients.
- Launched AI Chatbot “Tanamin med” for Product Information Inquiries
In February 2020, we launched the AI chatbot “Tanamin med” on our website for healthcare professionals for better convenience.
When a healthcare professional types a question, the chatbot's artificial intelligence recognizes the meaning, leads them to the relevant product information from among our approximately 160 products, and displays the answer. This allows them easy and quick around-the-clock access to drug information .
AI chatbot “Tanamin med”
(Press release issued on February 12, 2020)
- Note: The number of inquiries decreased since the sales of some products were relegated to other companies in fiscal 2018. Users are increasingly accessing the Q&A page on our company website.
- *1Inquiries on MR calls, lectures, seminars, doping, and other matters.
- *2Toll-free guidance to redirect consumers by providing correct contact information