Social

Materiarity Improvement of quality of life in local areas

Providing high-quality medical care

To be certified as a “Health Support Pharmacy,” “Community Medical Coordination Pharmacy,” and
“Pharmacy in Cooperation with Specialized Medical Institutions”

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies

The Qol Pharmacy Group aims to improve the quality of medical care through cooperation with the community, contribute to the maintenance of the health of local residents, and become the pharmacy of choice for the community.

Health Support Pharmacy

A “Health Support Pharmacy” is a pharmacy that meets certain standards set by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare. In addition to having the basic functions of a family pharmacist or pharmacy, it supports local people to lead a healthy and prosperous life by sharing information on disease prevention and health maintenance. More than 150 Qol Pharmacies have been certified as “Health Support Pharmacy,” where experienced pharmacists carefully listen to customers and provide consultation on prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs, or health foods, as well as on diet and nutrition intake. As of March 31, 2022, 159 pharmacies have been certified as "Health Support Pharmacy".

Community Medical Coordination Pharmacy

In the regional alliance pharmacy system started on August 1, 2021, prefectural governors certify pharmacies with specific functions as “regional alliance pharmacies.” One of the two types of certified pharmacies in the system is “Community Medical Coordination Pharmacy,” which support patients in the region by sharing information with medical and nursing care facilities. The service is provided not only when the customers are visiting pharmacies as outpatients but also when they are admitted to or leaving hospitals as well as when getting medical care at home. The Qol Pharmacy Group has been preparing to acquire certification since before the start of this system. As of March 31, 2022, 146 pharmacies have been certified as "Community Medical Coordination Pharmacy."

Pharmacy in Cooperation with Specialized Medical Institutions

Another type of certified pharmacies is “Pharmacy in Cooperation with Specialized Medical Institutions.” "Pharmacy in Cooperation with Specialized Medical Institutions” are those that can respond to specialized pharmaceutical management, such as for cancer treatment, and prescriptions that require special dispensing skills. These pharmacies provide full support in close cooperation with other medical institutions so that patients can comfortably receive advanced drug treatment. We will continue working on employee training to respond to advanced pharmaceutical management and have more of our pharmacies certified as “Pharmacy in Cooperation with Specialized Medical Institutions.” As of March 31, 2022, 9 pharmacies have been certified as "Pharmacy in Cooperation with Specialized Medical Institutions."

Qol Card service/Yakukyubin

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies

Qol Pharmacy uses ICT in many of our services so that customers can safely and conveniently use Qol pharmacies anywhere in Japan--in their neighborhood or near their work, or on their trip.

Qol Card service

With consent of each patient, the card allows us to share the patient information among Qol Pharmacies nationwide. Patient information from the past can be easily obtained at any Qol Pharmacy—when the patient wants to get prescription drugs at a store near work or at an emergency during travel, or when moving to a new town and changing his/her pharmacy. With this service, patients do not have to fill out the questionnaire when visiting a new store first time and can save time waiting for the medication. It also makes the same package service with the same dispensing method available at any Qol Pharmacy anywhere in Japan.

Qol Okusuribin (Qol LINE official account)

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies

This is a prescription transmitting service with Qol’s LINE official account. Patients can take a photo of prescription with the smartphone and send it to the pharmacy of choice to save time for waiting. This function is linked to the online dispensing system “Yakukyubin™,” so patients who used to send prescriptions through a browser can keep using it with the same account.

We are planning to add a function to the system to check the status of the patients’ medication via LINE and provide follow-up advice from pharmacists as necessary.

Image of using the app

Providing seminars/events and sharing information on health and medical care

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies
  • Medical Qol Co.,Ltd.

Using the knowledge and skills as medical professionals, the Qol Group staff participate in various social contribution activities needed by local communities and communication activities to blend in with the local society. These activities are planned and carried out voluntarily by the employees, which shows Qol’s unique corporate culture.

Conducting and participating in health fairs and community events

“Health support pharmacies” regularly organize “health fairs” to provide local residents with opportunities to seek advice from pharmacists and registered dietitians or attend seminars on health and diet management. To promote closer communication with local communities, each pharmacy plans and carries out its own event of various kinds, including work (drug dispensing) experience events for elementary school students.

Health fair
Health seminar held in a pharmacy
Local event
Publication of Health News to share useful information for health maintenance

The COVID-19 pandemic has been making us difficult to safely and comfortably go out or participate in outdoor activities. This brings up a concern that some elderly people hesitate to visit medical or nursing institutions to get rehabilitation or day-care services, which would weaken their muscle strength and increase the risk of falls. Having difficulties in basic activities that are indispensable for daily life, such as eating, changing, moving, toileting, dressing and bathing, also leads to a decline in quality of life (QOL). To support health of patients who cannot easily leave the house and their family members, Qol pharmacists write and edit Health Letters and hand them out to customers at pharmacies and at the time of in-home care.

Publication of the comprehensive medical information magazine Medical Qol

Medical Qol is the monthly magazine issued by Medical Qol Co., Ltd., a group company whose main business is promotion of medical communications. Focusing on medical management information and news related to medical administration, the magazine provides a wide range of useful information for medical institutions and medical professionals.

Services using digital technology, such as online medication guidance and medicine delivery lockers

As a family pharmacy with family pharmacists serving in the comprehensive regional care systems, Qol is making efforts to support the improvement of the quality of medical care and patient satisfaction at a high level. For example, we pursue the convenience for patients using digital technologies.

Services using digital technology, such as online medication guidance and medicine delivery lockers

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies
Online medication guidance

As a means to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection, all Qol Pharmacies provide medication guidance and delivery of medicines using telephone and other means. After the patient talks with his/her doctor in the hospital or clinic by telephone, etc., the prescription is sent to the pharmacy of the patient’s choice. Patients don’t need to take their prescriptions to the pharmacy. Our pharmacists provide medication guidance by phone etc. and deliver the medicine to the patient’s home.

More information on online medication guidance is available on the site below.

Medicine delivery lockers

Several stores of Qol Pharmacy have installed lockers to deliver medicines. Users can receive prescription medicines at their convenience in a non-face-to-face and non-contact manner without waiting time.

Take medication guidance at a pharmacy or online if conditions permit. Please inform the staff of use of PUDO for receiving phar-maceuticals. 1. Take medication Qol Pharmacy Ebisu store Pharmacist put prescrip tion drug into PUDO sta tion. 2. Deliver complete Users can receive pre scription drugs and other products at the locker even outside business hours. (need to scan mem bership card or barcode of apps) 3. Receiving store Customer
Demonstration experiment of drug delivery by drone

We started demonstration experiments of drug delivery using drones in 2022. In an experiment conducted in Etajima City in Hiroshima Prefecture in February 2022, the whole process of medication delivery was tested: the patient received online consultation from the physician, a prescription was issued, the pharmacist provided online medication guidance for the patient, and the medication was delivered to the patient’s home. In the experiment in Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture in March 2022, the drone flew across the Kurushima Strait in anticipation of “flight beyond the visual-line-of-sight without safety assistant of a pilot in populated areas (Level 4 flight).” It was also the first experiment in Japan to verify with GPS functions whether the patient had actually brought home the medicine. The Qol Group has determined to make further efforts to improve convenience for patients by continuing to take on the challenge of providing innovative medical care by utilizing the data obtained from this experiment.

Vaccination Project

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies

In February 2021, Qol launched the COVID-19 Vaccine Project and has begun activities such as management of vaccination histories of employees, monitor of the support by pharmacists at vaccination sites, and training for pharmacists who are to assist with vaccination. As part of this project, Qol pharmacists gave support at the large-scale COVID-19 vaccination site in Tokyo Dome from August to November 2021 and from March to May 2022. Since June 2021, we have been promoting a project for workplace vaccination in collaboration with the medical corporation MNYS, which operates Caps Clinic 365 days a year mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

Response to a super-aging society

Nursing care/home healthcare support

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies

Recognizing the importance of the role pharmacists at family pharmacies play in in-home medical care, Qol Pharmacy Co., Ltd. has been working on home medical care for more than 10 years. Our pharmacists visit patients receiving medical care at home to deliver prescription medicines and explain what the medications are and how to take them. They also check for any side effects. If necessary, we contact the physicians for better treatment and prescription. We also cooperate with nursing care staff including care managers and care givers to support patients and their families. In addition to advice on medication, we provide advice to make their daily life safer and less burdensome.

“Dementia Cafe”/Dementia supporter training

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies

The Qol Group is working to train dementia supporters. With correct understanding of dementia, pharmacists and other staff at Qol Pharmacies play a role of supporters who warmly watch over people with dementia and their families, participating in the creation of communities where people can live with at ease. Qol Pharmacies in different areas host “Dementia Cafe” events, which can be casually used by local residents including those with dementia, their families, and people having concern on dementia, as well as medical professionals. We believe communication at the cafe can help prevent the disease and alleviate the development of conditions.

“Dementia Cafe”
Dementia supporter

Support for education and child-rearing for the next generation

Sesame Street Pharmacies Membership Program

The Qol Group supports the activities of Sesame Workshop, which aims for “a society where all children can open a door into possibilities.”  We are also engaged in various activities through our partnership with Sesame Workshop, which provides educational support for children. One of them is the world’s first Sesame Street Pharmacies Membership Program to make pharmacies “fun places to learn.” The Sesame Street characters painted on the interior and exterior of these pharmacies make a friendly environment for children and their families to get information on health and child-rearing. Through collaboration with the characters with diverse personalities, we will combine “medical care” with “education” and share medical and health information to support healthy growth of all children and the safe and comfortable lives of local residents.

Sesami Street

It was established in 1969 in the United States, where various social disorder are swirling, in an attempt to solve social problems using the power of education.
It deliver educational content to children in more than 150 countries and regions around the world based on the mission to "help children grow smarter, stronger and kinder.”

© 2021 Sesame Workshop. Sesame Street and associated characters, trademarks and design elements are owned and licensed by Sesame Workshop. All rights reserved.

Make-A-Wish Japan

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies

The Qol Group is helping children realize their dreams that cannot be satisfied by treatment for illnesses alone, by providing human resource support and fund-raising activities. One of these initiatives is to support the Make-A-Wish Japan in their activities to make the dreams of children with intractable diseases come true. We would like to support the strength to live of children fighting intractable diseases and give them the courage to fight their diseases. With such thoughts in mind, we are collecting funds for activities to realize these children's dreams. Qol provides a wider range of support, including participating various charity events and setting up donation boxes at stores and offices.

Total amount Donations through shareholder benefits
FY2022
3.49 million Yen

FY2019 2.83 million Yen

FY2020 3.00 million Yen

FY2021 2.91 million Yen

June 2023 to Sep 2023
348,000 Yen

More information about Make-A-Wish Japan is available on the following external website.

Participation in Himawari no kai Smartphone app for Maternal and Child Health Handbook

  • Qol Holdings Co., Ltd.

Himawari no kai (Sunflower Association) is an NPO founded in 1997 in Gifu Prefecture with the aim of healing people's hearts with "flowers" and connecting people's hearts through “giving flowers.” The Qol Group would like to help children, who will build the future, and their families, in a hope to create a society where people can comfortably trust and help each other. To this end, we support Himawari no kai in their activities to promote the smartphone app for Maternal and Child Health Handbook. We also place advertisements in Maternity Passports issued by the organization.

Project to prevent accidental ingestion by children

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies

The Qol Group Pharmacy is actively engaged in activities to prevent accidental ingestion among children and to raise awareness on the risk. To prevent accidental ingestion, we use “Komamori Bukuro®,” a zipper storage bag with a child-resistance (CR) function, as well as “CR container,” a safety cap to prevent accidental ingestion.

To raise awareness on the risk, we print a warning message on the paper bags we use to hand over medicines and carry out a campaign to prevent accidental ingestion by designating January every year as Child Month.

More information on our project to prevent accidental ingestion by children is available on the site below.

Parenting College

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies

The Qol Group operates Parenting College to solve anxieties of parents  and support comfortable child rearing. Parenting classes are held in various parts of Japan with invited specialists, such as obstetricians/gynecologists, pediatricians and pharmacists, to give parents proper knowledge. Recently, Parenting College started online classes, too. We are planning to add more online contents and work with experts in local areas to make mothers  feel more comfortable in raising children.

More information on Parenting College is available on the site below.

Drug abuse prevention classes for elementary and junior high school students

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies

We are conducting educational activities throughout Japan to let elementary, junior high and senior high school students have correct knowledge about the risks of drug abuse.

Sports pharmacists and registered dietitians support the health of athletes with disabilities

Empathizing with their philosophy, “Through football, we contribute to creation of a vibrant, inclusive society where everyone, with and without disabilities, can enjoy the value of sport and individuality of each person is fully respected,” we concluded a partnership agreement with the Japan Inclusive Football Federation (JIFF) in April 2022. Through this partnership agreement, we provide support for JIFF and its member teams through lectures by sports pharmacists (pharmacists with the latest knowledge of anti-doping) and registered dietitians, as well as consultation on diet and nutrition.

Materiarity Improvement of quality of life of employees

Personnel training

Employee training and career model

  • Qol Holdings Co., Ltd.

Qol places importance on development of personnel who, as medical professionals and members of society, have high levels of ethics (those who are able to interact with patients with high ethical values), knowledge (those who are well-versed in medical care and dispensing fees covered by health insurance and can correctly propose and support medication treatment and preventive medical care) and skills (those who have acquired at a high level of skills necessary for work).

For development of such human resources, we are focusing on pharmacist education and training unique to Qol, which include practical training programs in close cooperation with hospitals, participation in academic conferences and our own pharmacist certification system. For pharmacists who have built up enough experience in pharmacies to be independent, we have adopted a career model that allows them to use their knowledge and play active roles in various fields. They can freely select and change the course among the three choices: the pharmacy management course, expert course, and head office course.

Image of career path of pharmacists
Example of pharmacist training
4+2 year personnel training program
New employees of Qol have six years of training period. In the long period, they can obtain various knowledge and skills necessary for taking on important tasks that can involve human lives.
QOL certified pharmacist system
Qol has its own certification system for pharmacists. Pharmacists can choose either the Standard Course to be a pharmacist with a wide range of knowledge or the Expert Course to be a specialist with a high level of expertise.
Rank-specific training
Rank-specific training supports pharmacists who seek life-long growth with opportunities to obtain knowledge and skills that are specifically needed at each career step.
Training at hospitals
In cooperation with hospitals, we provide training in various themes through practical training and field trips. Participants learn about prescription proposal and arrangement at the time of hospital discharge, so that they can support patients continuously after their leaving the hospital.
E-learning (Q.O.L.S.)
Qol’s e-learning system helps our employees to study conveniently with 30-minute lectures, which are available even on a smartphone.

Qol Academy

  • Qol Co., Ltd. / Group dispensing pharmacies

Using the know-how of pharmacists and pharmacy staff training we have developed since our founding, Qol Academy provides external parties with training in themes from the basics of insurance pharmacy operations to skills to respond to daily changing needs. We conduct practical training in small groups for pharmacists in such themes as “practical training of dispensing” and “aseptic dispensing training.” We also provide many companies with educational programs tailored to individual needs, such as hospitality, at-home support, advanced pharmacy management and self-medication.

Internship opportunities

We offer both online/in-person internship opportunities to experience the job of pharmacists. To flexibly respond to the needs and conditions of each student, we offer three courses in 2022: Industry research and self-analysis (online), Qol Lab: pharmacists at work (online) and Pharmacy tour (online/in-person).

Personnel training and job creation in medical care

  • APO PLUS STATION Co., Ltd.
  • APO PLUS CAREER Co., Ltd.

While maintaining the dispensing pharmacy business as its pillar, the Qol Group also develops healthcare-related businesses such as staffing of contract MRs (Medical Representatives)  and placement and temporary staffing of medical personnel. Through these businesses in various fields, we play our part in the development and maintenance of the healthcare industry.

Achievement of contract MR training: Apo Plus Station

At Apo Plus Station, which is leading the industry in Japan with the number of companies to dispatch MRs, believes that its mission is to provide high-quality contract MRs. To this end, Apo Plus carries out its own management and training to develop MRs who can help realize the business plans of pharmaceutical companies in a short period of time. It keeps providing its own support to all contract MRs even after they are dispatched.

Placement and temporary staffing service of pharmacists and medical clerks: Apo Plus Career

The main business of Apo Plus Career is placement and temporary staffing of pharmacists and medical clerks. Pharmacists and medical clerical workers who are planning to change jobs can register with Apo Plus Career, which will introduce them to the suitable job opportunities. Under the policy of sparing no time and effort for companies and job seekers, Apo Plus Career works on careful communication for better matching, leading to satisfaction for both parties.

Relaying and supporting pharmacy management: Service Apo Plus Career

Apo Plus Career also supports those who have difficulty in managing pharmacies or finding successors, as well as pharmacists who want to start or open their own pharmacies, to lead the future of pharmacies. For pharmacy proprietors who are planning to transfer the business or struggling with management, the company analyzes the management situation of each store and give advice, and, if preferred, it introduces successor candidates that match the conditions. For pharmacists who are planning to start their own pharmacies, Apo Plus Career introduces a pharmacy that is expected to be relatively easily managed with independent operation or one where the elderly owner cannot find a successor.

More information on businesses of Apo Plus Station and Apo Plus Carrier is available on the site below.

Diversity promotion

L.A.D.Y.S. Conference, a study group for women’s empowerment and advancement in the workplace

  • Qol Holdings Co., Ltd.

The Qol Group, where many female employees work, has launched the L.A.D.Y.S.* Conference, a study group for women’s empowerment and advancement in the workplace from a woman’s perspective. In addition to the government-supported reform for active use of female employees by companies and development of better working environment, the conference works to facilitate the work of pharmacists and other staff at Qol’s family pharmacies. One of the achievements of the initiative is the third place we won in October 2021 in the corporate category (more than 1,000 employees) at the Forbes JAPAN WOMEN AWARD 2021, Japan’s largest women's award sponsored by Forbes JAPAN.

  • *L.A.D.Y.S.: Luminous, Activity, Diversity, Yell, Staff
1 Family pharmacists/ pharmacies 2 Parenting support 3 Workstyle reform Productivity improvement Increasing corporate value

Promotion of employment of people with disabilities

  • Qol Assist Co., Ltd. .

The Qol Group believes that not only economic value but also social value is an indispensable element in the development of a sustainable society. Since 2008, we have been proactively employing people with severe physical disabilities (mainly for work-from-home positions), and in 2009, we started Qol Assist Co., Ltd. In the same year, Qol Assist became the first in the insurance pharmacy industry to be certified as a special subsidiary company by law. The jobs at Qol Assist started with data input for the group’s personnel management, but communication among the employees have been maintained through online meetings using a web conferencing system since the beginning. Now, a work environment that does not require physical commuting has been established.

More information on Qol Assist is available on the site below.

Personnel data

  • Qol Holdings Co., Ltd.

Ratio of female managers (executives/managers/leadership positions)

Ratio of female directors 2022 33.3% As of June 2022 Ratio of female in managerial positions (manager and above) 2022 25.9% As of March 2022

Ratio of female directors

2022 33.3% As of June 2022

Ratio of female in managerial positions (manager and above)

2022 25.9% As of March 2022

Number of employees (consolidated)

2017 4,505people 2018 4,678people 2019 5,070people 2020 5,366people 2021 5,517people 2022 5,620people

Promotion of work-life balance

Qol is promoting the creation of an environment where pharmacists and other employees of the Group can work comfortably throughout their lives.

Promote the health of each employee (Acquisition of SPORTS YELL COMPANY certification)

We recognize that the health of our employees is the foundation for providing safe and secure medical care.
We are implementing various measures to support employees to lead healthy lives.
In recognition of these efforts, we certified as a “SPORTS YELL COMPANY 2024” by the Japan Sports Agency as a company that actively promotes employee health through sports.

Examples
  • Publication of an in-house magazine containing information for improving employee health literacy
  • Holding health events for employees and local residents
  • Developing “Commuting Places” as bases for health promotion and frailty prevention for local residents, including the elderly
Health events at stores / In-house magazine article

SPORTS YELL COMPANY

A system that certifies companies as " SPORTS YELL COMPANY“ that actively promote sports activities to improve the health of their employees.
The aim is to improve the participation rate of sports for the entire nation by improving the social reputation of companies that promote the creation of an environment where employees can enjoy sports.

SPORTS YELL COMPANY 2023

Leave and shortened working hours for nursing care and childcare

Nursing care leave
Qol employees can take up to 10 days  of leave depending on the number of family members requiring nursing care members.
Maternity leave before and after childbirth
Employees can take a maternity leave for six weeks before childbirth (14 weeks in the case of multiple pregnancies) and eight weeks after childbirth.
Childcare leave
Employees can take childcare leave until the day before the child’s first birthday. In case that the child cannot be enrolled in a daycare center, the leave can be extended till his/her third birthday.
Shortened working hours for childcare
After the end of childcare leave, employees can shorten working hours per week (minimum of 30 hours/week) by application until the child starts his/her second year in elementary school.

Cafeteria Plan

Each year, employees can select one of the following welfare benefits: medication fee subsidy, corporate membership at welfare facilities, recreation subsidy, membership fee subsidy, and subsidy for technical qualification certificate fees.

Examples: medication fee subsidy / corporate membership at welfare facilities / recreation subsidy / membership fee subsidy / subsidy for technical qualification certificate fees

Group long-term disability income compensation system

This is a system to compensate the income of our employees for a long time when they become unable to work due to illness or injury. This covers a decrease in income that cannot be compensated for by the paid leave system and health insurance alone.

Other examples of non-statutory welfare systems

Year-end and New Year holidays, congratulation or condolence leave, special paid leave, paid vacation accumulation, Cafeteria Plan, retirement allowance system, rental company housing, allowance for transfer preparation, travel expenses for returning home, employee shareholding association system, corporate-contracted recreation facilities, employee discounts, Medical Knowledge e-learning subsidies, etc.

Creating attractive workplaces

Work style reform through DX

Improving operational efficiency using dispensing equipment and IT

Qol is the first in the industry to install a dispensing device Drug Station, which automatically picks pharmaceuticals. Drug Station, in which Qol cooperated in the development process, manages all medicines with barcode information and automatically collects medicines, allowing anyone, regardless of his/her level of experience, to safely and speedily carry out medicine picking. Promotion of the family pharmacy system and use of generic drugs have increased the range of pharmaceuticals each pharmacy handles. In such an environment, being able to efficiently dispense medications while maintaining a high level of safety can lead to safe use of medication by patients and shorter waiting time at pharmacies, as well as reduction of workload and mental burden of pharmacists.