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How a patient-focused philosophy guides MTP-CA’s work

Q&A with President Atsushi
Fujimoto

Over the course of more than 25 years at Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma group companies, Atsushi “Andy” Fujimoto developed a clear understanding of what it takes to make a real difference in the lives of people facing serious diseases. It takes a tenacious attitude and an unrelenting focus on trying to help people with unmet medical needs. In his role as president of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America and of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Canada (MTP-CA), Andy follows an unwavering patient-first philosophy that is central to our mission.

This patient-centered approach is not just an idealistic, aspirational sentiment. It is woven into the very fabric of the organization. Adhering to this philosophy means measuring success, not by revenue and sales, but by how many patients our therapies can help. It means recognizing that unsolved challenges are often the ones that need to be addressed with the most urgency. Above all, it requires building a team that is committed to doing the right thing by patients – upholding our integrity so patients can trust the company will continue doing work aimed at tackling complex problems.

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (MTPC) has a 300-year history developing important treatments in Japan. What does that history mean to you, and how does that experience benefit MTP-CA?

MTPC, our parent company in Japan, is the second-oldest pharmaceutical company in the world, has an extensive background discovering, researching, and refining medicines. MTP-CA strives to deliver treatment options as quickly as possible to the patients who need them. What this means to me is that we have the experience to understand unmet medical needs and bring medicines to market that help patients.

What are some of the steps MTPC has taken to establish itself in North America?

MTPC established Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America (MTPA) in the United States in 2016 and MTP-CA in Canada in 2018. These two companies were established in North America with the ambitious goal of delivering therapies for some of the most difficult-to-treat diseases, especially those that affect the central nervous system. We’ve been investing our resources and working diligently ever since to pursue the therapies patients need while establishing a work culture that is science driven, patient-focused, compliant and transparent.

What do you think makes MTP-CA unique and special?

MTP-CA is special because of our people. We have built an amazing team of committed individuals who work hard to make a difference to the lives of people living with serious diseases. This is our mission. We know it takes determination and collaboration, which is why we have worked to create a culture at MTP-CA that fosters both.

By valuing a constant exchange of ideas, we open the door for possibilities as we strive to achieve remarkable things. In everything we do, we think about how we can make a real difference to the lives of people struggling with debilitating diseases. We understand that each patient is unique, and the needs of patients guide us in our work every day. I believe this way of thinking will serve us well in the Canada and help us create a new level of trust in the community.

Every day, I look around our office at the devoted teams and feel a great sense of pride.

What are you most proud of?

Every day, I look around our office at the dedicated teams and feel a great sense of pride. I can see the great work demonstrated by these individuals. Each person is committed to excellence and looking for ways to improve our processes to be more efficient and effective. Our goal is to bring medicine to patients who need more options. I’m proud that everyone at MTP-CA holds themselves personally accountable for making a positive impact on our work and in the lives of those with unmet medical needs.

What are some of the company’s accomplishments over the last few years?

Bringing our first product to the U.S. in 2017 was the first meaningful step in our commitment to serving patients with unmet needs in North America. In 2018 we opened a subsidiary in Canada, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Canada (MTP-CA) in Toronto, followed by obtaining Notice of Compliance (NOC) market authorization for our first product in Canada in October of 2018. We are excited to continue our efforts to help people with unmet medical needs.