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  5. Otsuka Launches OATHAS Training Program for Healthy Aging Supporters Program to support pharmacies as health information bases with strong connections to local community

February 20, 2017

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.


Otsuka Launches OATHAS Training Program for Healthy Aging Supporters Program to support pharmacies as health information bases with strong connections to local community

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Tokyo, Japan; President: Tatsuo Higuchi) will launch OATHAS, a program to train Healthy Ageing Supporters. The program will assist pharmacies to promote health in various different ways as Japan seeks to serve the health needs of its 'super-aged society.' Developed in response to current demands on pharmacies, which are increasingly expected to assist with health maintenance and enhancement at a more grassroots level, the program will be launched in April 2017.

The OATHAS initiative is a collaboration between Otsuka Pharmaceutical, whose strength lies in research and development of products and educational activities based on scientific evidence, and nonprofit organization Healthy Aging Projects for Women (HAP) (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan; Director: Fujiko Miyahara), whose expertise lies in health and disease management throughout women's lives and creating local communities around health and medical treatment.


Japan's elderly population will reach 35 million by the year 2025, when it is estimated that one in every three people will be aged 65 or older*4.

According to the Japan Revitalization Strategy endorsed by Cabinet in 2013, "The government will promote better contribution of local pharmacies and pharmacists to encourage self-medication of citizens by making pharmacies community-based hubs for providing information, giving advice on proper use of non-prescription drugs, etc., and offering consultation and information services concerning health."

Subsequent discussion on the functions of local pharmacists/pharmacies included how pharmacies might be re-organized with a view to the longer term, and the roles of Health Support Pharmacies. Launched in 2016, the Health Support Pharmacy system determined pharmacies "should be familiar places where people feel comfortable to drop by. As part of an inclusive community care system, they should be networked with other health professionals, and be capable of fulfilling the role of places that the local community can go to for advice or support."


Otsuka Pharmaceutical has established the OATHAS pharmacy support program in response to requests from health professionals such as pharmacists and pharmacies wishing to further expand and deepen their knowledge and expertise for the purpose of implementing and sustaining comprehensive health support. The program targets all medical professionals, including pharmacies/pharmacists who wish to support the health of people in their local communities.

Specific activities include an initial program to train Women's Health Supporters to provide basic health information and knowledge about diet and nutrition essential for comprehensive health support in the local community. Also provided will be tools to facilitate in-store health consultations, product and health information backed by scientific evidence, and local collaborative events.

Based on our corporate philosophy of 'Otsuka - people creating new products for better health worldwide', Otsuka Pharmaceutical will provide training of human resources engaged in health support and contribute to the proliferation of Health Support Pharmacies with the aim of contributing to the maintenance and promotion of public health.

  1. 1Health Support Pharmacies: Pharmacies equipped to provide ongoing support for patients that can proactively support initiatives for maintaining and enhancing individual health and wellbeing. (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Ordinance No. 19, 2016)
    Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare website(in Japanese):
    Japan Pharmaceutical Association website(in Japanese):
  2. 2Otsuka Advanced Training for Healthy Aging Supporters. See OATHAS website at:
  3. 3Nonprofit organization HAP (Healthy Aging Projects for Women)
    Established: 2001; Director: Fujiko Miyahara
    HAP is a nonprofit organization (NPO) established to advocate for women's health care, providing information aimed at improving and advancing health care and disease management for women at all stages of life, to the general female population as well as to medical and allied health professionals. Implementing a range of activities in the interests of contributing to the improvement of women's quality of life, HAP supports the creation of Health Support Pharmacies that began in 2016, supporting the creation of communities that allow people to remain living in their local communities in the way that they want for as long as they want. HAP is recognized as a 'Health Support Pharmacy' training organization.
  4. 4White Paper on Japan's aging society submitted to Cabinet in 2016(in Japanese):

Information in this news release was current as of the original release date.

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