Training in drug safety
We have strict processes in place to ensure that our pharmaceutical business activities are always responsible and appropriate. We provide e-learning to help employees understand the importance of drug safety and quality assurance. In 2017, all of approximately 800 employees in our pharmaceutical business completed this e-learning course.
Ensuring ethical integrity
Employees based at JT’s Central Pharmaceutical Research Institute regularly attend educational programs in areas such as ethics, animal testing, managing chemical substances, and environmental management, so that they are always up to date in these fields.
We have established in-house regulations on animal testing, based on government legislation. Our Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee ensures we follow the ‘3R’ concept: Replacing laboratory animals with other research materials where possible; Reducing the number of animals used; and Refining tests so that animals do not suffer unnecessary pain and distress. We carry out periodic in-house inspections and assessments to ensure compliance with regulations. Our animal-testing practices are certified by the Japan Health Sciences Foundation, an external authority.
Our Ethical Review Committee is comprised of both internal and external members, and is based also on relevant Japanese guidelines. The Committee examines the ethical justification and scientific validity of research utilizing human tissue samples.
Our chemical management system covers every aspect of the chemical handling process, from the moment we take delivery of the chemicals, through to their storage, use, and eventual disposal. It also provides employees with vital information, such as how much remains of the chemical, and the most up-to-date safety data sheet for each substance. Employees are regularly made aware of chemical safety risks. Torii Pharmaceutical separates chemicals into categories requiring different levels of management, and has specific rules and procedures according to the characteristics and safety risks of each category of chemicals.
Regular inspections of production methods
We have developed guidelines outlining how to conduct annual inspections to confirm consistency between government-registered and actual production methods. To guarantee robust quality assurance, we are now making sure that our own factories and our contracted factories fully adhere to these guidelines. In 2017, our Group factory and 50% of our contracted factories rolled out these processes. We will finish applying the guidelines to the remainder of our contracted factories by the end of 2018.
Responsible promotion of drugs
We have established our own code of practice on the ethical promotion of prescription drugs, based on the code of practice of the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA). We have 526 medical representatives (MRs), who provide and gather information on drugs to/from health-care professionals, and we run monthly training programs to ensure adherence to our code. In 2017, Torii Pharmaceutical held several web-based conferences between relevant headquarter divisions and local offices to further consolidate the MRs’ understanding of the appropriate way to manage product information. The Medical Compliance Department and Compliance Advancement Department help to educate employees on compliance with the promotion code.
Transparency of contributions
Collaboration and partnership is part of our business. In some instances, we make financial contributions to partners, such as research institutes, universities, or medical institutions. When we do so, we are transparent about these payments and disclose them on our website, in line with transparency guidelines from JPMA.