Victoria Zadro Huml : Takeda – the oldest and largest Japanese pharmaceutical company

Takeda is a data and innovation driven company and a strong contributor to the wave of innovation in Europe.

Takeda’s main goal is that all patients have access to latest breakthrough medicines that can improve their health while also being mindful of the fiscal responsibility we do have towards our healthcare system, for Diplomacy&Commerce says Mrs Victoria Zadro Huml, General Manager Takeda Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

  1. You are General Manager in Croatia, of a global company whose main goal is health, but also development and innovation. How much has global connectivity contributed to the development of your company and in what way?

Takeda is the oldest and largest Japanese pharmaceutical company with a very long tradition. It was established in 1781, and June 2021 marked our 240th anniversary. With acquisition of Shire in 2019, Takeda became one of the leading global biopharmaceutical companies.  I am responsible for Croatia Plus region, which includes Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Locally, we definitively feel the strength of being part of a large, innovative corporation.  We were able to bring innovation in terms of new medicines and patient programs to all our markets.  Since 2019, we enabled access to over 20 medicines and new indications for patients in all our three markets. We have one of the strongest pipelines in the industry guaranteeing innovation for our patients for years to come. Working for a global company offers multiple career development opportunities. Takeda operates in 80 countries in 4 regions. People can have international careers yet still work out of their home, or they can move between countries. Next to patients and planet, employees are one of the key pillars of our company.  We aim to create a diverse and inclusive organization where people can thrive, grow and realize their potential.


  1. How different are business conditions in Croatia, and, for example, in the USA or Japan, where Takeda is the leader in its field?

It is difficult to compare such historically and economically different markets. Croatia has a social healthcare system available for all citizens, but  our healthcare system is facing many challenges and financial constrains.  Takeda as a stakeholder is willing to collaborate with Ministry of Health, Croatian Institute for health insurance and all other key partners and stakeholders on the market to ensure sustainable healthcare for Croatian patients.  By focusing our R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas — Oncology, Rare Genetic and Hematology, Neuroscience and Gastroenterology — along with other targeted investments, we can continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in order to bring life-changing medicines and therapies to patients worldwide. As a patient-first company, we partner with patients, patient organizations, caregivers and other key stakeholders to understand the burden of disease and unmet needs that our core therapeutic areas can help alleviate. These collaborations make sure we are developing medicines and that our work is in partnership with patients, not simply for patients. In our efforts we are dedicated to help in transforming healthcare system in direction of value based solutions which is highly resonating with needs of health authorities and healthcare system users. Our upcoming healthcare reform needs to be based on vision that supports innovation, tracking of treatment outcomes in order to focus and optimize where we invest available resources.  We are witnessing a global data and technological revolution, spanning from USA to Japan to Croatia, which will have a profound impact on our health. Croatia needs to become a part of this to ensure that proper diagnosis and treatment are made available in the shortest amount of time for each patient.  We need to use technology and available breakthroughs in medicine to ensure the best possible outcome for a person’s health.


  1. What is it that distinguishes Takeda from the competition and what is your business policy towards employees?

As mentioned earlier, people are one of three key business pillars and key part of business vision in Takeda.  By 2024, Takeda’s global-to-local program will deliver best-in-class, tailored well-being solutions designed to create an Exceptional People Experience, improve retention and enhance performance to provide Better Health and a Brighter Future to people worldwide.  Our efforts are recognized externally as well confirming that we are on the right track.  We witness this recognition through number and quality of applicants each time we have an open position advertised.  Takeda was recognized as a Family Friendly Employer in 2021 by Central State Office for Demographics and Youths.  In 2021, Takeda Croatia has received an IPRA Golden Global Award in the category of Best Employee Communications category. We aim to support our employees in reconciling personal and professional life to create an environment that fosters lifelong learning, growth mindset and enables employees to thrive inside and outside of Takeda.


  1. What novelties and plans do you have in the coming period?

We have numerous treatments in later stages of clinical research and expect their approval in the next three to five years across our key business areas (oncology, rare genetics and hematology, neuroscience, gastroenterology, plasma derived treatments and vaccines).  To illustrate the strength, I will mention that in phase 3 of clinical research we have 6 molecules/ indications in oncology and 9 molecules/ indications in rare genetics and hematology alone.  We continue to build our gastroenterology portfolio with 7 research molecules and indications in phase 3.  We obtained European Commission approval and are awaiting EMA approval for first treatment for transplant recipients (after solid organ transplantation or haematological transplantation) with resistant or refractory Citomegalovirus infection – condition that is a serious threat to post-transplant patient recovery.

  1. How much has the global crisis we are witnessing after the corona pandemic, war in Ukraine, inflation affected your plans and business (in numbers)?

I believe that the full outcomes of the crisis remain to be seen.  We are monitoring the situation and trying to find best ways to help our patients, the healthcare system and our employees.  Takeda’s main goal is that all patients have access to latest breakthrough medicines that can improve their health while also being mindful of the fiscal responsibility we do have towards our healthcare system.  We need to work on solutions that are sustainable and adaptable to pace of global change.

  1. You also pay great attention to social responsibility. Through what programs and in what ways?

Our goal is working towards a world with accessible healthcare for all. We partner with world-class organizations and NGOs with proven track records of addressing global health problems in innovative, sustainable manner. Purpose-led and value-based approach drives all of our actions and decisions.  Takeda’s commitment to environmental sustainability is enshrined in the three commitments that are articulated in our vision – “Discover and deliver life-transforming treatments, guided by our commitment to Patients, our People and the Planet”.  The Planet Pillar consists of three programs around which our projects, actions and activities are structured – Climate Action, Natural Resource Conservation and Sustainability by Design. Globally we aim to: By FY2030, achieve zero waste-to-landfill status for all major locations. We have already achieved zero waste-to-landfill status in multiple commercial sites and facilities, including Japan By FY2025, reduce our water withdrawal by 5% from a FY2019 baseline Locally in the Croatia+ region we have recycling programs in all our offices, support and actively participate in environmental actions such as tree planting or forest cleaning. We believe that every little bit counts and invite all to do the same, maybe even more..