Recognizing and Understanding the Needs of Our Customers
To Address Unmet Medical Needs
Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma is trying to address unmet medical needs with innovative new drugs created through leading-edge technologies. We are actively investing its resources in new areas such as disease fields where no approved drugs exist and regenerative medicine and cell therapy as well as the focus therapeutic areas of psychiatry & neurology and oncology.
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At Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, the safety of the patients who use our products is our top priority. To ensure safety, we incorporate the dosage forms and indications that best meet patients' needs from the initial planning stages of development. In addition, we have been committed to initiatives to make our products more distinguishable and prevent errors.
In safety and every other area important to patients, we will continue to make the most of our global business platform to broadly meet diverse patient needs. To achieve this, we are working constantly to enhance our expertise and raise the reliability of our data.
Reflecting the Needs of Our Customers in Products, Information and Services
While packaging and labeling designs are subject to many restrictions, displaying certain product information is mandatory, as well. Given these limitations, the design of more than one company's product packaging and labels may happen to look alike, and this confusion has become a contributing factor in pharmaceutical product mix-ups.
At Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, the packaging and labeling team of the Manufacturing Division heads our efforts to respond to the needs of both medical institutions and customers by improving packaging and label designs to prevent medical errors. We focus particularly closely on making sure that our packaging and labels are easily distinguished from other products since serious problems can arise when pharmaceuticals are taken incorrectly. Although we check in advance to ensure that our product names and package designs are not similar to products already on the market, we take immediate action to rectify the situation when our products are mistaken for others despite these efforts. We work with the company relevant to the marketing of the product to modify product names and designs so that they are easily distinguishable from one another.
Renaming the Product
ALMARL tablet 5mg/10mg (Arotinolol Hydrochloride) is our therapeutic agent for hypertension, angina pectoris, arrhythmia and essential tremors. Incidents have occurred in which this product was mistaken for an oral hypoglycemic agent of another company. In 2011, as a measure to prevent medical errors, we distributed notices drawing attention to this issue and changed the design of the press-through package (PTP). Moreover, we renamed the product Arotinolol Hydrochloride tablets 5mg/10mg DSP.
Printing of the Press-through Package (PTP)
To make our products more distinguishable, since 2011, we have addressed product safety measure by expanding the usage of special printing of the PTP. By printing of name and dosage over each dose for our products, we aim to prevent errors when individual doses are separated from the PTP.
Printing on the Top of the Bottle-cap Containing the Tablets
In 2012, we went even further, introducing the industry's first laser printing to our manufacturing line in order to print the product name on the top of the bottle-cap containing our tablets. Since most medical institutions store these bottles in drawers, having the product name printed on the cap, as well as on the bottle, makes the products easier to identify and remove.
Supporting Informed Consent
Informed consent is defined as "the voluntarily given agreement (consent) on the part of the patient who will be participating based on a proper understanding and agreement upon a complete explanation from a physician or other medical professional of the patient's illness and the treatment strategy" when a patient is to participate in clinical trials or receive medical care.
Since clinical trials are conducted during the intermediate stages of confirming the efficacy and safety of drug candidate substances, it is particularly important that the informed consent of a patient is based on sufficient data and a careful explanation of all that is involved. In order to help patients decide whether or not to participate, we compile a wide range of data that covers the state of clinical trials in Japan and overseas, as well as the possible outcomes indicated by clinical findings, so that it can be presented in a manner that is easy for the patient to understand.