Employee health

The Otsuka Pharmaceutical Declaration on Health

Otsuka-people creating new products
for better health worldwide

Part of the fulfillment of our corporate philosophy for better health worldwide starts right at home - by ensuring health of each and every one of our employees. As a company dedicated to a holistic approach to health, Otsuka Pharmaceutical strives to maintain and promote the physical and mental wellbeing of our employees and their families because we firmly believe that this is the vital core for people to lead happy, productive, and fulfilling lives. We will continue to introduce innovative workplace policies and practices for the maintenance and promotion of everyday health.

Makoto Inoue
President and Representative Director
Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

In January 2017, former President and Representative Director of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Tatsuo Higuchi issued the Otsuka Pharmaceutical Declaration on Health. In March 2020, with the inauguration of Makoto Inoue as President and Representative Director, a new declaration on health was written to confirm the company's stance on the issue. Otsuka Pharmaceutical organizes a wide variety of initiatives in the belief that it is important for each of our employees to be able to engage in their work in good health and with a positive mindset. Activities include health seminars and exercise programs that assist employees in understanding health issues and encourage them to take an active role in preventing disease and in maintaining and enhancing their own health. In addition to being recognized as a "Health & Productivity Management Outstanding Organization" for four consecutive years, Otsuka has also been certified as a "Sports Yell Company" by the Japan Sports Agency for three years in a row for our proactive efforts to promote employee health through sports. Here are the key health-related measures we have implemented at Otsuka Pharmaceutical.

1. Promoting health self-management among employees

To support Otsuka Pharmaceutical employees in sustaining high levels of health awareness and managing their own health, we have designated a certain period of time in which employees aged 30 and over can take comprehensive medical check-ups free of charge. This encourages our staff to be proactive about arranging health consultations. Furthermore, in addition to medical check-ups and legally required tests, we have made kidney exams, HbA1c tests, and fecal occult blood tests mandatory, and made stomach cancer screening and gynecological exams available as an option free of charge. In addition to this, we also subsidize influenza vaccines and H. pylori tests.

2. Health seminars that make use of our employees' own knowledge

A health seminar

Otsuka Pharmaceutical develops a wide variety of products, ranging from those designed to cure diseases to those aimed at maintaining and improving health. Making use of the knowledge we have gained through the research and development of our own products, we run health seminars for our employees and their families. This includes a Women's Health Seminar that welcomes both female and male participants and is designed to ultimately help create a more comfortable work environment for women. It offers participants the chance to discuss the physical and emotional changes women experience during different stages of their life cycle due to hormonal changes, together with useful techniques for dealing with these. Employees who have taken part in these seminars have shared responses such as: “I have been better able to deal with my own body” and “The seminar made me think not only about female colleagues in the company but also about family health.” The seminars have been useful in promoting an understanding of the importance of health management, both for individuals and the people with whom they share their lives.

3. Activities designed to prevent disease, such as making exercise a part of one's life and improving dietary habits


POCARI/fresh is a weekly eight-minute exercise session led by an instructor that takes place in our offices and factories. In factories where staff are particularly physically active, we provide fall prevention exercises on videos in the prevention of locomotive syndrome, promote no-elevator-usage-days. We also hold walking events that are also open to people living in the area. Additionally, in the Tokushima area, where the largest number of our employees are located, we launched a new area-wide approach in 2017, providing walking and exercise recommendations and nutritional guidance aimed at helping people at risk of metabolic syndrome make improvements, as well as elevating health consciousness throughout the area.

In 2020, we made POCARI/fresh available exclusively online so that employees can continue to take part in the program while working remotely. We also provided other opportunities for exercise that align with new lifestyles. For example, our employees and their families can exercise and stay healthy by joining a virtual "walk rally" using a smartphone app.

In the dining halls under our direct management, employees who serve as nutrition supervisors have developed health-conscious menus. Since 2008, we have enabled employees to be more aware of the nutritional balance of meals by providing displays showing the calorie content and nutritional composition of the daily menu items. We have also implemented a program called "Table for Two," in which, when employees order from the healthy menu in the dining hall, a portion of the proceeds are donated to funding school lunches in developing countries. This initiative allows them to contribute to the wider society while being mindful of their own health.

Smoking has also been prohibited on all company premises since 2007.

Examples of measures

Promotion of health management

Assistance for comprehensive medical check-ups We encourage employees to receive comprehensive medical check-ups and offer them to employees aged 30 and over for only 10% of the total cost.
In addition, employees of any age can elect to add stomach cancer screening and gynecological examinations free of charge.
Other kinds of medical examinations Assistance with H. pylori testing and influenza vaccinations.
Free health consultation service We provide employees with access to a 24-hour health consultation hotline.

Health maintenance and enhancement

Health seminars Making use of the knowledge we have gained through the research and development of our own products, we run health seminars for our employees and their families.
POCARI/fresh POCARI/fresh, a weekly eight-minute exercise session led by an instructor, is run in our offices and factories. In 2020, POCARI/fresh is available exclusively online so that employees can continue to take part in the program while working remotely.
Otsuka original exercise videos Otsuka produces original exercise videos (including stretching, strength training, POCARI dancing, etc.) to provide employees with opportunities to exercise in the office, on the factory floor, or elsewhere. In 2020, the videos were used to encourage employees to continue exercising at home, helping them and their families stay healthy while working remotely.
Visual meal data in staff cafeterias In addition to directly operating canteens where nutritionists who are also members of our staff devise dishes with a focus on health, since 2008, we have also displayed calorie and nutritional information on our daily menus, providing visual data about meals for our employees. Variety of healthy menus are offered at these canteens.
Encouraging staff to stop smoking We are working to make the entire company smoke-free.
(The smoking rate dropped by 2.9% from 2016 to 2019.)
Walking events Some of our factories hold regular walking events that are also open to local people. As well as offering health benefits, these events serve to facilitate interaction with the local community.
Health classes We operate health classes where employees can learn about common health issues
(smoking, dental health, etc.).
Promotion of moderate drinking We carry out alcohol patch tests and hold explanatory sessions for new employees. We also engage occupational physicians and public health nurses to provide employees with explanatory sessions and information on health disorders caused by excessive drinking, and encourage the early discovery of potential alcohol addiction by displaying posters in-house. We also educate employees who are approaching retirement age about drinking in moderation after retirement.

Creating a comfortable work environment

Aiming for a 100% accident-free workplace We provide video instructions on exercises that assist in the prevention of locomotive syndrome, with the aim of preventing accidents at our factories.
Curbing excessive overtime In addition to having a system where overtime must be declared in advance so that superiors can properly manage their subordinates' work hours, we have also taken measures to promote more balanced work styles. In some workplaces, we have specified one day per week as a no-overtime day. Meanwhile, we have also established a Work Life Balance Day at some satellite offices. This is a day of the employee's choosing when he or she leaves the office early to pursue something for his or her own fulfilment.