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Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. received the 2013 Good Design Award on October 30th, 2013 for the antiplatelet drug “Pletaal® OD Tablets 50 mg/100 mg” (nonproprietary name: cilostazol). Otsuka received the Good Design Award 2013 for making it possible to print directly onto OD tablets using this IDTAB technology. Pletaal Tablets were also included in the Good Design Best 100 list.
The idea to find a way to print the name and dosage of the medication onto an orodispersable (OD) tablet (or orally disintegrating tablet) came to Yoshio Hara when he nearly gave his son, the wrong amount of medication for his asthma. Mr. Hara said most tablets are white and round and very generic looking, and can be mistaken easily. That was his Ah Ha! Moment and realized that there are many people who may have nearly made or actually made the mistake of taking the wrong dosage, or given the wrong dosage of drugs to those they are caring for.
So the journey to creating what is now known as IDTAB technology began. Mr. Hara and his team first started enquiring tablet printing makers at the end of 2009. Being able to print the product name directly onto conventional OD tablets, which are soft and dissolve easily, is complicated and has up until now been impossible, but the team saw the need and pushed forward.
Before the technology was perfected and made available to the market, one person was reported to have died from taking the wrong dosage in the spring of 2010. Nikkei Drug Information released a study in June 2011 that showed 97.4% of pharmacists nationwide admit having given the wrong dosage to their patients. They all agreed that clearly printed tablets will be extremely helpful when dispersing drugs. All the more making the team more determined to see this technology succeed.
The advantage of being able to print the product name directly on the tablet is that it allows both medical professionals and patients themselves to easily identify what drug each individual tablet contains by product name, preventing prescribing and dosing errors. Because antiplatelet drugs in particular are high-risk drugs that inhibit clotting, their use needs to be discontinued before surgery, and having the product name printed on the tablets themselves makes it much easier for medical professionals and patients to identify the drug.
It is our dream to see this technology spread around the world to ensure safety when distributing medications to patients or loved ones; or when patients are taking the medicines themselves.
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The Otsuka Museum of Art (OMA) was established in 1998 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Otsuka Group. Otsuka Pharmaceutical then Chairman Masahito Otsuka had a precise vision for this museum to be built in Tokushima, where the Otsuka Group was founded.
Rendered with Otsuka’s original technology developed by Otsuka Ohmi Ceramics Co., Ltd., more than 1,000 pieces of art are now reproduced in original size, and their colors, which will virtually never fade, faithfully convey the artistic essence of the original works.
One of the most popular exhibits at the Otsuka Museum of Art is the Sistine Hall, which holds a full-scale reproduction of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Five years ago, the Otsuka Museum of Art resolved to reproduce this curved ceiling for the 10th anniversary of the museum’s opening. A method was developed in which curved ceramic panels are produced using firing platforms that are made based on wooden molds. It is exceedingly difficult to produce curved ceramic boards without breaking them, the same principle as that used to produce curved glass was employed, and was finally achieved following much trial and error.
2013 marks the 500th anniversary of the completion of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Starting September, the Otsuka Museum of Art will be hosting “Divine Michelangelo” festivities.
The museum displays a collection of ceramic-board reproductions of art masterpieces from around the world, with the ability to keep colors and shapes unchanged for more than 2,000 years which would help record and preserve cultural assets. It also has the largest exhibition space in Japan, with a total floor space of 29,412 square meters (316,588 square feet).
In March 2007, Pope Benedict XVI bestowed the Pontifical Order of Pope St. Sylvester on Akihiko Otsuka, then director general of the Otsuka Museum of Art, for his contribution to introducing and furthering Christian art in Japan.
The Director of the Vatican Museums said: “The people of Japan can experience the beauty and learn the history of Christian art at the Otsuka Museum of Art. The Sistine Chapel of the Vatican and the Sistine Hall here in Naruto City are not in opposition, but rather complement each other.” The Otsuka Museum of Art aims to inspire people through art, and serve as a bridge connecting the world’s cultures.
The Otsuka Museum of Art exhibits full-scale reproductions of more than 1000 major works of Western art from 25 countries.
Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, Gogh’s Sunflowers, and Picasso’s Guernica, among many others, are displayed in one place so that visitors may view them at one time. The Otsuka Museum of Art makes it possible for people in Japan to learn about the history of Western art by allowing them to experience the majesty of the works in their original sizes.
In 2011 and 2012, The Otsuka Museum of Art ranked the top among Trip Advisor’s rankings for “the best museum to have visited” category.
Last month, the Otsuka Museum of Art welcomed its 3 millionth guest, and the museum strives to be a place that allows people to connect to art by creating a new world of artistic culture based on the spirit of “creation,” one of the founding principles of the Otsuka Group.
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A leading expert on management engages a group of future leaders of Otsuka to think critically on “art of decision making and leadership”. Professor Sheena Iyengar of Business in the Management Division at Columbia Business School, challenged about two dozen future directors at Human Resource Development Institute in Tokushima on how to lead better in a global company in the 21st century.
Professor Iyengar launched the Global Leadership Matrix (GLeaM) at Columbia Business School in 2011 and has been working tirelessly to advance and promote understanding of leadership in a global context.
Professor Iyengar is an inspiration to many people who have seen her speak at TED. Born in Toronto, Canada, her parents were originally from Delhi, India. In early 70’s, her family moved to New York and then to New Jersey by the end of that decade.
When Professor Iyengar was three years old, she was diagnosed with a rare form of retinis pigmentosa, an inherited disease of retinal degeneration. And when she was around 12 years old, she had lost her ability to read and in her teens she had totally lost her vision and could only perceive light. With that type of tenacity of exceeding what the world expected of someone without sight and hopefulness, she achieved academic excellence through blazing her own path. As a teacher who knows more heartache than perhaps most, she imparts wisdom through her academic excellence as well as her personal experiences.
The collaboration of Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Columbia Business School is one that strives to inspire Otsuka’s employees. It is a year-long program where future leaders meet every month. Otsuka taps into the resources of GLeaM's interdisciplinary team from Columbia's Business School, Sociology Department, and Psychology Department, where they are developing a range of innovative research and information sharing initiatives that will serve the interests of academics, organizations, and people across the globe.
The training program is aimed at employees in management who have been with Otsuka for more than 15 years to gain hands on training on social capital networking that has a big impact on decision making.
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As a result of Otsuka’s recent growth in Europe, an increased employee numbers from around 100 in Feb 2013 to around 140 in Oct 2013; and expansion with a new operation, Otsuka Europe Development & Commercialisation (OEDC) established in July 2013, a larger work area was needed.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd. (OPEL), Otsuka Europe Development & Commercialisation (OEDC) and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals (U.K.) Ltd. (OPUK) have relocated to the West of London in Wexham, in the United Kingdom to bring the research & development and commercial operations teams together for optimal collaboration.
Operating under Otsuka’s corporate philosophy of ‘Otsuka-people creating new products for better health worldwide’, Otsuka’s European business was originally established in 1979 focussing on the development of innovative products and medical devices that address high unmet medical needs.
Otsuka Chairman Akihiko Otsuka once said, “Outlying areas lack convenience, but they give you more room to ponder things. [sic] Because living in rural areas requires resourcefulness, I always maintained the view that we had to take the hard way. This really challenges people; also, there is less competition when you take the hard way, the road less travelled.”
Embracing Otsuka’s approach to innovation and unconventional thinking, the interior of Otsuka’s new office has been specifically designed to encourage employees to think more creatively and includes an ‘Innovation area’, quiet rooms and an English pub themed restaurant known as ‘The Otsuka Arms’. The open plan style encourages collaboration, teamwork and communication helping with the cross fertilisation of ideas. The beautiful countryside setting also helps to promote a feeling of well-being.
An official opening event was held at the new offices on Friday, 11th October 2013 welcoming 140 employees to the new site. The day included a presentation from the senior management team, ribbon cutting and the signing of a Daruma doll, a popular good luck talisman in Japan. The eye of the Daruma is filled in when setting a goal and the other eye is filled in when the goal is achieved. If you want to know ‘the goal’ you will have to visit the office!
"Our move to new premises reflects Otsuka Europe’s commitment to deliver growth and performance within Europe and is a fitting setting for the determination, expertise and professionalism of our staff. We are all extremely excited about our new innovative integrated office space which will enable us to continue to collaborate effectively and accommodate future expansion." Ole Vahlgren, CEO & President - Otsuka Europe