Shionogi's mission is to constantly strive to provide the best possible medicines to protect the health and well-being of people worldwide. Access to medicines is a significant challenge for much of the world and one that Shionogi takes very seriously. As a Japan-based company, Shionogi believes that effective partnerships with global organizations are essential to expanding reach and improving access. Shionogi's efforts to improve access are focused in the four following areas:
Shionogi Global Health Access Policy Statement
1. Developing innovative therapies to address unmet needs
Shionogi's primary contribution to improving global health is through the creation of innovative medicines that deliver significant advances compared to the current standard of care. The core therapeutic areas for Shionogi are infectious diseases and pain; obtaining adequate treatment for both can be challenging, even in developed markets.
Shionogi is a full partner of the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund, which was established in 2013 to develop medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics using Japanese expertise with the objective of controlling infectious diseases in developing countries. Diseases of focus include HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases. Other partners include the Government of Japan and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
2. Promoting 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. 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.
Shionogi is a signatory company of the Davos Declaration, which was established in January 2016 and calls for collective action to create a sustainable and predictable market for antibiotics, vaccines and diagnostics that enhances conservation of both new and existing treatments. A key commitment is to work to reduce the development of antimicrobial resistance through supporting education on appropriate use and improved stewardship (outlined in the "Industry Roadmap for Progress on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance.")
3. Improving affordability for patients in need
In developing countries, access to innovative medicines is often hindered due to affordability. Shionogi considers the value and affordability of a medicine carefully and tailors the pricing strategy for each product to the dynamics of the country and healthcare system. Shionogi utilizes tools like patient assistance programs, product donations, and patent pools, where appropriate, to improve affordability. In addition, Shionogi intentionally does not file patents for its medications in many low-income and developing countries. This allows other organizations to leverage Shionogi's research in order to address the needs of patients in these selected markets.
Dolutegravir, an integrase inhibitor for the treatment of HIV discovered and developed jointly by Shionogi and ViiV, is included in the Medicines Patent Pool. The license permits generic manufacturers to manufacture dolutegravir, as a standalone or in combination with other HIV therapies, and distribute it to more than 130 low-income and lower middle-income countries.
4. Strengthening healthcare systems
Effective healthcare systems are critical to improving the well-being of the patients Shionogi aims to serve. Shionogi believes the best way to address complex healthcare infrastructure challenges is through targeted partnerships with on-the-ground organizations.
Shionogi has partnered with the international non-governmental organization 'World Vision' in the Narok County of Kenya to reduce maternal and pediatric mortality by providing better access to healthcare services and reducing malnutrition. This "Mother to Mother" Shionogi project includes the construction of a maternal healthcare facility, the deployment of a mobile clinic to improve access to health for malnourished mothers and children, training of local health care volunteers to educate mothers on maternal, infant and pediatric nutrition, and education on the importance of giving birth under the supervision of healthcare professionals.