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Otsuka People Talk

May 2015

Pharmaceutical Marketing

I am driven to learn everything I can about Parkinson's disease.

Joined Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. in 2002.Worked as a medical representative before shifting to marketing. Currently oversees marketing for a drug to treat Parkinson's disease-a subject that occupies his thoughts every day.

As Fate Would Have It

I majored in pharmaceutical studies at university. Until the winter of my first year of graduate studies, I considered a career as a hospital pharmacist, but when I thought about my future, I had an idea that it might be more enjoyable to work at a company rather than a hospital. At that point, it was already past the usual recruitment window for companies hiring out of university. As fate would have it, Otsuka Pharmaceutical was going through a second phase of hiring, and they hired me.

Driven to Know Everything about Parkinson's Disease

I have been working at Otsuka Pharmaceutical for 13 years, spending more than half that time in marketing. I currently oversee a drug to treat Parkinson's disease, and because of that I am driven to learn everything I can about the disease.

I was put in charge of the product about 18 months before its launch in Japan. At the time, it had already been approved and marketed in Europe by our partner company which had created it. It's a transdermal patch, but in Europe, the oral version of the drug was the one most commonly used. We investigated the reasons for this and found that physicians there were not fully aware of the advantages of transdermal patches, so we ended up developing an original marketing strategy for Japan.

Marketing Concept Developed after Interviewing Over 100 Patients

Working with our president at the time, we took a fresh look at the Japanese market to find out where our product was truly needed. Rather than asking doctors, we spoke to patients and their families directly to find out what their needs were. We interviewed over 100 patients in order to thoroughly understand the challenges that they were facing.

There was heated discussion over the original marketing concept that we developed for Japan. However, we launched the transdermal patch two years ago in Japan, and it is now the most successful market for the drug of any market worldwide. Our marketing concept is being adapted to introduce the drug in other countries, becoming a global concept; it's great hearing about these plans from our partner company. It took a combined effort to develop this, and the cooperation of many people driven by a strong conviction to make our original concept a success.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical gives its project leaders a great deal of authority over their projects, and that is one reason why we were able to develop an original concept. On top of that, management gets involved in the projects and they help guide each one to success.

Increase the Depth and Breadth of Capabilities

I am willing to increase the depth and breadth of my capabilities, even when facing difficulties that I'm sure will come over the next 10 years. I will place myself in challenging work situations to expand my knowledge and abilities.

I'm glad that fate played a hand in my being recruited to join Otsuka Pharmaceutical. The best thing about working here is that I have been given many opportunities to gain experience, although I had to earn them by doing a good job in the first place. Those that put in the hard work, know what they want to do next and are up to the task would do well here. I'm glad that I joined a company that gives its employees such opportunities.

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