Contribution to Global Health

Countermeasures to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Initiatives for Appropriate Use of Antibiotics

In recent years, AMR has been recognized as a social problem requiring international initiatives. In Vietnam particularly, it has been reported that the resistance rate to antibiotics of various gram-negative rods, typically Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter spp., is especially high.
Sumitomo Pharma is conducting joint research with a drug discovery group of Kitasato Institute led by Dr. Satoshi Omura, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Kitasato University and the 2015 laureate of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the purpose of creating drugs for the treatment of AMR infectious diseases. This joint R&D initiative has been selected by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) for its Cyclic Innovation for Clinical Empowerment (CiCLE) grant program.

In June 2019, as a partnership initiative with the ministry of Health of Vietnam, Sumitomo Pharma and the National Center for Global Health and Medicine jointly commenced an antibiotic susceptibility surveillance study in Vietnam in collaboration with ten major local hospitals in order to contribute to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) countermeasures and promote the proper use of antibiotics in Vietnam. The study is a detailed cohort investigation into the development of resistance to the antibiotics used as a main treatment option for severe and intractable infections in Vietnam.
After completing the data analysis of the first year research in August 2020, we held a debriefing session for integrated ten hospitals in September, and continue to report detailed results and exchange opinions with each hospital. Going forward, we aim to achieve appropriate prescription and use of antibacterial drugs and nosocomial infection control based on the research findings. We also plan to expand the scope of activities using the One Health approach for a collaborative effort with the Vietnam Government Ministry of Health and local stakeholders across human, animal, and environmental health and continue contributing to AMR countermeasures in Vietnam.

Vietnam's 10 major hospitals participating in the surveillance study

Vietnam's 10 major hospitals participating in the surveillance study

Efforts for Eradication of Malaria

HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, the three major infectious diseases, are global problems that cannot be solved by one country alone and which need international cooperation to address them. Sumitomo Pharma is working on research and development of malaria vaccines in collaboration with Ehime University and global organization PATH, and supports the initiatives for eradication of malaria in several countries in Asia and Africa. The Company has cooperated with NPOs, local governments and communities to provide insecticide-treated mosquito nets, rapid diagnostic test kits for malaria, and educational activities in Zambia, Tanzania, and Indonesia, as well as advocacy initiatives for public awareness of Malaria in Japan.

Participation in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)

Sumitomo Pharma participates in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund). Through our participation, we are seeking to explore how we can utilize our innovative drug discovery technologies for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), malaria, and other disease fields in which there are significant unmet medical needs, thereby aiming to enhance Access to Health.

Fight against Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

Illegally manufactured or distributed pharmaceuticals (counterfeit pharmaceuticals) not only provide no therapeutic effects but could pose fatal risks to the patient because of their unknown side effects. The threat is expanding throughout the world in terms of both quantity and the targeted areas. The problem of counterfeit pharmaceuticals has another international dimension: their trading could be a lucrative business for organized crime and international terrorist organizations.

To ensure safety of and trust in our products, we join together with peer pharmaceuticals companies in the initiatives of industrial associations and international organizations to collect and exchange up-to-date information in the fight against counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Specific actions are detailed below.

Initiatives to Fight against Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

Membership in PSI: Pharmaceutical Security Institute

As a member of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI), the Company maintains close contact with other global pharmaceutical manufacturers in information gathering and promoting anti-counterfeit enforcement operations. PSI is a U.S.-based not-for-profit organization founded in 2001. It liaises between pharmaceutical companies and public health authorities and transmits information on counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

Working with INTERPOL to Combat Crimes Involving Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

Sumitomo Pharma is one of 29 global pharmaceutical companies (including eight companies in Japan) that worked together to donate to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) a total of 4.5 million Euro over a three-year period beginning in 2013. The donation was used to fund activities to promote public awareness of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and efforts to prevent pharmaceutical crime, as well as for the training of specialist pharmaceutical crime investigators. Pharmaceutical crime is becoming more diverse, including an increase in online transactions. Sumitomo Pharma works to prevent pharmaceutical crime through close sharing of information with INTERPOL via industry group activities.