As a member of society, the Meiji Group incorporates a variety of CSR initiatives in our corporate behavior charter. Our food and nutrition education activities and plant tours are well-established favorites among each area’s customers. We also contribute to society by developing special infant formulas and drugs for rare diseases, and by providing support for areas struck by disasters.
We reinforce initiative by encouraging our employees and the supply chain based on the Meiji Group Policy on Human Rights. 375 employees had participated in human rights awareness training for new employees and managers by the end of fiscal 2016.
Our education activities focus on three areas of priority: the value and enjoyment of food, nutritional balance, and food-related safety and reassurance. We create opportunities for our customers to learn about and enjoy food, and to better understand the nutritional value and health benefits of different foods.
Food and nutrition education staff in seven regions throughout Japan visit local elementary and junior high schools to provide on-site classes. We also proactively engage in food and nutrition seminars for adults that are tied to the local communities. In the fiscal year ended March 2017, we enhanced activities by holding "exercise, food and nutrition classes" and "gargle and hand-wash classes" in addition to "fun milk classes" and "chocolate and cocoa classes".
In the fiscal year ended March 2017, we also engaged in an Olympic and Paralympic Games education program.
Through experiences and lectures, participants learn the importance of sports and how physical training for sports contributes to improved health over the course of our entire lives.
Meiji Co., Ltd.'s plants include visitor centers that carry out educational plant tours. Visitors can observe production processes firsthand while learning about our commitment to food safety and reliability. The centers also conduct fun and interactive classes. about 170,000 people visited seven Meiji plants, nationwide, in FYE March 2017.
Rare Diseases Drug for Dravet's Syndrome Treatment, DIACOMIT®
Dravet's syndrome is an intractable form of epilepsy occurring in infancy. The disease develops in one infant in every 40,000. The syndrome is a severe disease that has a major impact on patients and their families because it causes seizures, delays physical and mental development, and has a high mortality rate.
As there was no effective drug for Dravet's syndrome treatment available, Meiji Seika Pharma launched DIACOMIT® Dry Syrup (oral suspension) and DIACOMIT® Capsule in 2012. We makes efforts to provide accurate and quick information of effectiveness and safety to healthcare professionals in order to dose adequate to patients. Patients, their families, healthcare practitioners, and the government have high expectations for DIACOMIT® and express their gratitude to us.
A drug for the rare disease Dravet's syndrome, DIACOMIT has been prescribed to approximately 500 children since launch in 2012.
Covering all cases, we have collected high-quality post-marketing surveillance, a rarity for many drugs.
Enlightenment tools have been developed to enable information provision that benefits illness understanding and treatment. Recently, I have the impression that it has become less difficult to manage the severe seizures associated with this illness, which may be attributable to the popularity of DIACOMIT.
Special formulas are vital to the lives of children with intractable diseases. We are grateful that the company is responded to social needs by continuing to offer these products.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a topical treatment that entails the injection of a photosensitizing agent and the use of low-power laser light to irradiate lesions. The photosensitizing agent has a high affinity with tumors, and the laser light causes tumor tissue degeneration or necrosis. PDT is a treatment method that does not affect normal tissue and mitigates patients' physical burden. We are promoting the combination of PDT LASERPHYRIN® for Injection and the laser equipment of PD laser and PD laser BT.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) LASERPHYRIN® for Injection was approved for indications for early lung cancer and malignant brain tumor treatment. Moreover it was approved for indications for recurrent/residual esophageal cancer in 2015. There was no established standard therapy and there was bad prognosis for this recurrent/residual esophageal cancer. To diffuse PDT and provide stable supplies of both the drug and the laser equipment, we will continue contributing to medicine.
We manufacture and sell special infant formulas for babies with a variety of metabolic disorders. Often, babies are born with congenital metabolism disorders (also known as "inborn metabolism errors"). These babies require special nutritional management using special formulas suited to their particular disorder. Meiji is committed to the production and supply of these special formulas. We manufacture and supply 20 types of special formula for a variety of metabolic disorders. These include officially registered formulas as well as formulas designed for treatment of non-congenital metabolic disorders. As a leading manufacturer of infant formulas, it is our responsibility to ensure the healthy development of babies. We will continue to utilize the technologies and expertise amassed through creation of Meiji products to better fulfill this mission.
Through food and nutrition, we provide a foundation for using sports to support healthy development, build strong bodies, and develop strong minds. At nationwide nutrition seminars, we disseminate information on sports nutrition, including information to promote an understanding of preferable food choices and the proper use of supplements. We also partner with associations and federations to provide nutritional support towards developing future top athletes. Through sports nutrition, we will continue to support the next generation of promising, talented, and versatile young athletes and their coaches.
The Meiji Group research and development is conducted in compliance with relevant laws, policies of the relevant ministries and agencies, and internal rules for product quality, efficacy and safety. When implementing animal testing, we create plans that focus on animal protection and welfare. Experiments are based on the 3Rs principle of reduction: using fewer animals; replacement: seeking experiments that do not use animals; and refinement: mitigating animal suffering. We conduct animal testing after receiving approval from a laboratory animal ethics committee. The Food segment receives accreditation from the Japanese Society for Laboratory Animal Resources.
The Pharmaceutical segment receives accreditation from the Japan Health Sciences Foundation.
We are aware of our responsibilities as a good corporate citizen. Therefore, we regularly clean up and maintain the areas surrounding our facilities. Also, we actively participate in municipal authorities' activities and events aimed at beautifying local environments.