Takeda's Hasegawa out as JPMA VP after firm called to task on Blopress

Yasuchika Hasegawa

Takeda Pharmaceutical Chairman Yasuchika Hasegawa was removed as vice president by the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA), according to an updated leadership list that was confirmed by a spokesman.

On June 26, Hasegawa was named as director and chairman of the Board of Takeda, according to the company's website. But he was removed from his JPMA role officially on July 2 in response to a business improvement order related to advertisements for the drug Blopress in Japan.

The case referred to advertisements on the CASE-J investigator-led clinical study that Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) said used exaggerated phrases in describing the results of a comparison of Blopress (candesartan) and amlodipine. MHLW said the ads were a violation of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Law.

The move, announced to members, came after Takeda Pharmaceutical was sanctioned by MHLW for using exaggerated marketing materials to promote hypertension medicine Blopress and was issued a business improvement order with which it will comply, according to a June 12 press release from the company.

But, the JPMA spokesman said, Takeda remains a member of the lobby group.

Hasegawa had not carried out any activities as a JPMA vice president since April 2014, the spokesman said, when Takeda first acknowledged problems with its advertising campaign.

Hasegawa led the call for change at Takeda by bringing CEO and President Christophe Weber, a French national, to the helm of Japan's oldest drug company. Weber took over April 1 and vowed to enhance the company's global footprint through dealmaking and is the first non-Japanese leader at the firm.

- here's the JPMA leadership chart
- and the Takeda release