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Otsuka Pharmaceutical Germany’s ‘Look closer’ hyponatremia awareness campaign was honored with the Astrid Award, a design prize for Outstanding Achievement in Design Communications.
The Astrid Awards, established 25 years ago, celebrate and reward the best international design communications in healthcare. The international Astrid Awards program received nearly 550 entries from around the world and Otsuka won Bronze.
The campaign is targeted at Healthcare Professionals in Germany. It was developed to create awareness for hyponatremia and to work on the paradigm shift in hospitals to make physicians aware of the disease and to ensure that patients get the best treatment for hyponatremia.
A chameleon has been chosen as image of the campaign as it also changes appearance, can hide, and cannot easily be seen sometimes, so you have to take a closer look to find it. The same is valid for hyponatremia. With that eye-catcher we want to draw the attention of the physician to the disease.
“I was very proud and happy that we won the award. As a company that provides the only approved treatment for hyponatremia secondary to SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate anti-diuretic hormone secretion) in Europe, we have to constantly work on raising awareness of this condition. So physicians recognize hyponatremia, see the patients, and are able to treat these patients in the best possible way,” said Kristina Saala, Marketing Manager - Specialty Products, Otsuka Pharma GmbH.
Patients with hyponatremia secondary to SIADH have a water overload, so they are often “treated” with fluid restriction. They are sometimes only allowed to drink only 500 ml per day, which is a real torture. With our innovative drug, patients are allowed to freely and partly drink according to their thirst. And as this, an Otsuka creative oral drug, is a Vasopressin receptor antagonist, it induces aquaresis, so the patients lose the overload of water. It is worth working every day to create awareness, so that patients will receive the best, modern treatment. We believe the design of the chameleon shows the valuable change of innovative therapy to patients with hyponatremia.
Read the full story with photos at:https://www.otsuka.co.jp/en/company/globalnews/2014/0608_01.html
For five years Japanese calligraphy artist, Mr. Souun Takeda (right), has been organizing a “Kansha-no-hi”, a day to say “thank you”.
Master Takeda held annual events in hopes that “Kansha Day” will become a worldwide holiday when everyone, like family and friends, uses the day to show appreciation to one another. He explained that the numbers 6 and 9 represent “yin and yang” like “light and shadow” and it is his hope that on June 9th, these elements would come together in perfect harmony.
This year, hundreds of people gathered in Enoshima on June 8th, a Sunday, where different booths offered various ways for people to show appreciation to others. Master Takeda participated in using his calligraphy skills to write thank you messages for visitors. He also visited our booth and promoted the event.
Matching the hot summery weather, Otsuka Pharmaceutical introduced POCARI SWEAT ION WATER to the visitors at the booth. As the theme is to be grateful for health, attendees were reminded to rehydrate.
POCARI SWEAT ION WATER gave out original thank you cards for people to write personal messages of appreciation, and then have them attached to POCARI SWEAT ION WATER bottles. And these were used as gifts to replenish fluid and ions for people important to those who attended the event.
Throughout the day people of all age groups, including couples, children and families, stopped by the booth, wrote their unique thank you messages. Those messages were for their families’ health, that live far away. Attendees also told us this event made them grateful for their own good health, and that it is due to the support of the people around them that they can achieve it.
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“I burned myself on the teapot.” “Put Oronine on it.”
“I fell down and skinned my knee.” “There’s Oronine in the medicine cabinet.”
If you are Japanese, this probably sounds familiar, bringing you back to your days as a child, when cuts and scrapes were a near-daily occurrence.
“Oronine Ointment,” the medicine mentioned in so many such households, was born in a small pharmaceutical factory in Naruto City in Tokushima Prefecture.
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory, Inc. founded by Busaburo Otsuka in 1921, made bulk ingredients for the pharmaceutical industry using magnesium chloride obtained from the salt industry in Naruto. After the end of the war, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory started manufacturing not only bulk materials, but also its own pharmaceutical products – solutions for injection for medical use – and expanded the scale of its operations.
However, it was clear that, with injection solutions and distilled water as Otsuka’s only branded products, business would be much tougher after the demand caused by the Korean War ended.
Mr. Masahito Otsuka, who had originally joined his father’s business as the eleventh employee, took the helm of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory in 1947, and was struggling to develop new products when he heard about something from Mitsui & Co. An American company, Oronite Chemical, had discovered a new antibacterial agent; what about trying to make a product using that?
Masahito thought of ointments. At the time, the over-the-counter drugs Mentholatum (“Menturm” in Japan) and penicillin ointments were hit products, and Masahito thought that sales would be more stable with these kinds of products.
Masahito asked three professors at Tokushima University to develop a product for Otsuka. The new product was ready for sale in 1952, and was marketed the following year, in 1953. Otsuka Pharmaceutical Factory’s long-awaited first original product was christened “Oronine Ointment,” after the name of the company that manufactured the raw material.
Oronine Ointment was therefore the result of a joint collaboration between industry and academia. However, unlike the products marketed by large pharmaceutical companies, brand recognition was poor – at first. Otsuka therefore engaged in various sales and promotion activities in order to teach people about Oronine and get them to use it.
For example, in the year it was launched, Otsuka announced in an informational newsletter targeted at hospitals, the “Otsuka Pharmaceutical News,” that Otsuka was holding a “Miss Nurse Contest.”
Then, the following year, Otsuka sent a marketing truck on a nationwide tour, something that was extremely rare at the time. During the first year, Otsuka’s president traveled for 26 days out of every month, visiting major hospitals across the nation, relentlessly promoting Otsuka’s first original over-the-counter medicine. Sales grew steadily, reaching 30 million yen a month, but then plateaued.
Otsuka also began hearing complaints from customers saying they didn’t like the way it smelled.
To solve the problem of flattening sales, Otsuka came up with a plan to give test sample packets containing 2.5 g of ointment to children in kindergartens and elementary schools nationwide.*1
This was an unprecedentedly bold move for the time.
The formula was also modified to eliminate the unfavorable smell and this, combined with the free sample distribution strategy, the initial outlay for which exceeded sales, was successful: from 1957 on, sales of “Oronine Ointment” resumed their rapid rise.
Masahito said that “The best form of promotion is the product itself; if the product is used just once, that is more effective than ten advertisements.” This one move turned a crisis into an opportunity.
In addition to the promotion of sales to hospitals and the marketing truck and free sample distribution campaigns, Otsuka also marketed Oronine Ointment aggressively in the media.
Otsuka placed advertisements in newspapers and magazines, and enlisted Keiji Sada and Keiko Kishi, who had starred in the movie version of the radio drama “Your Name Is,” which was hugely popular at the time, to sell Oronine using the catch phrase “Your Name Is Oronine.”
In the radio program “Daimaru Racket – Humorous Street Recordings,” a Japanese stand-up comedy duo who performed using the stage names Nakata Daimaru and Nakata Racket made audiences laugh with a clever back-and-forth comedy routine about Oronine.
1953, the year Oronine Ointment was launched, was also the year that television broadcasting started in Japan. The first television commercials were broadcast live by performers during the programs.
Then, starting in 1963, Otsuka advertised Oronine using enamel billboards. These were put up by salesmen as part of their job, and are now greatly prized by collectors.
In 2003, the 50th anniversary of Oronine’s market launch, Otsuka sold a limited quantity of Oronine Ointment in 50th anniversary commemorative packaging, and also sold “Oronine Sanitizer,” a spray-type sanitizer that was the first new Oronine product in 50 years.
In 2013, different ways of usage was reflected by a new campaign that showed 100 different photos and videos of how people can use Oronine Ointment which can be found here.
A survey of current Oronine users revealed that the most common age of first purchase is among buyers in their 20's to 30's, and the most common reason for purchase is for treatment of wounds. Based on that, the latest ads show the portability and versatility of the 10g size and presented on the web, a medium on which these active people spend time.