Good Design Award Presentation — 大塚製薬 | Otsuka Pharmaceutical

I am tremendously thankful for having been given
this opportunity to talk to you today. My name is Yoshio Hara. I am responsible for
drug product production technology at Otsuka Pharmaceutical. This is Otsuka Pharmaceutical’s corporate philosophy: People creating new products for better health worldwide. Today I would like to talk about the IDTAB technology
that we developed based on Otsuka’s corporate philosophy. Have you ever held the drugs you have received from a hospital
or pharmacy in your hand and looked at them closely? Some have nothing written on them. Some have Roman letters or numbers on them. And
some of them are scored with lines. In other words, these drugs come in all different forms. However, it is impossible to tell just by looking at
them what drugs you are holding in your hand. We considered this issue from the standpoint of the patients
who are actually taking these drugs, and their families. We thought that, if it were possible to print the
drug names on all drugs – in other words, to print the product names directly on individual tablets – then patients would be able to easily tell what drugs they were holding, and could therefore take them with greater peace of mind. Moreover, nursing care is going to be a serious problem
in the increasingly elderly society of the future. In nursing care, there will be many more times when caregivers, instead of the patients themselves, will be helping patients take their medications. If the name of the drug is written on the tablet in this kind
of situation, then the caregiver will be able to give the patient the medicines they need with greater peace of mind
that they are not making a mistake. Let’s look at what proportion of tablets is currently printed with the drug name. Looking at this pie chart, we can see that, at Otsuka Pharmaceutical, only 4.2% of
all tablets are currently printed with the product name. Moreover, as shown by the dotted red line in the chart, up until now it has been impossible to print
on uncoated tablets, including OD tablets. I would now like to talk a little bit about OD tablets. OD tablets dissolve immediately in the mouth, and can therefore be taken easily even without water. They are a very easy kind of tablet for patients to take. On the other hand, because of this feature, it has
been impossible until now to print on OD tablets. There is no substitute for life-saving medicine, whatever form it
takes, even OD tablets, but we thought that, if a technology could be developed that would make it
possible to print even on OD tablets, then this would make it possible to print on
all tablets everywhere in the world, and would represent a giant step into a
new future for the entire pharmaceutical industry. Even though we knew about these problems from the beginning, it took much time and a great deal of
trial and error to find the solutions. We encountered problems every day with the faintness or bleeding of the letters printed on the tablets, or with the ink being transferred from one tablet to
another when they came into contact with one another. What we finally were able to come up with was the IDTAB
technology that I am happy to describe to you today. The development of this technology has made it possible for the first time in the
world to print the product name on OD tablets. We have christened this technology “IDTAB,” for “IDentifiable TABlet.” We are presenting this new method to industry
as a technology that anyone can use. For medical professionals, IDTAB technology will help to eliminate drug mix-ups and treatment accidents. For patients and their families, IDTAB technology will
improve patients’ understanding of drugs (product names). For society as a whole, IDTAB technology will make it possible for patients
to more reliably take their medication, which will help to prevent disease recurrence and thereby control health care costs. In conclusion, it is our hope that IDTAB technology becomes
the “industry standard” in the pharmaceutical industry, and that it raises patient awareness of drugs. The Otsuka Pharmaceutical will continue creating new products for better health worldwide. Thank you for your kind attention.

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