Global HealthPharmaceutical Regulations in Japan

Innovation

Cutting-edge science and technology to drive drug discovery innovation and accelerating partnerships to address global health challenges

Innovation

As indicated by the continued lengthening in average life expectancy, the status of health around the world has improved considerably over time. The role of new drugs in driving that change cannot be overstated.1

By supplying pharmaceuticals and vaccines that take full advantage of cutting-edge science and technology, JPMA and its member companies have contributed to the improvement of health and welfare for people around the world over the years. These contributions have gone past the treatment and prevention of illnesses to include lowering the youth mortality rate, improving the quality of life for patients, circumventing excessive hospitalization fees, and helping patients to make their return as functioning members of society.

Looking to the future, we are working to realize further breakthroughs and the application of new technologies-such as in the areas of individualized health care, regenerative medicine and other life science areas of growing health need in recent years.

In the vaccine area, in addition to vaccines for the prevention of disease, there have been exciting discoveries of next-generation vaccines that utilize the immune system to treat diseases. As illustrated by joint industry-academia research, there is growing expectations related to vaccines and adjuvants and their application in the prevention and treatment of a greater number of illnesses.

The discovery of revolutionary drugs is an extremely difficult endeavor, and has an extraordinarily low rate of success. Citable factors for this low success rate are the drug discovery methods applied to date could not yield sufficiently effective medicines for the target diseases, the increasing complexity of technologies and regulations related to the research and development of new drugs, and the extreme amount of time and money necessary to successfully bring new drugs to market. Despite this severe operating environment for pharmaceutical companies active in drug discovery in Japan, the number of newly-discovered drugs at Japanese pharmaceutical companies ranks third worldwide (See Figure 1). In so saying, there has not been sufficient progress made in the development of new drugs for illnesses prevalent among the poverty-stricken population in developing countries. Our view is that in order to tackle these challenges, in addition to time and cost issues, activities such as developing an environment for accelerating new drug discovery and joining partnerships for developing new drugs are also necessary. The Japanese based public-private partnership, GHIT Fund, is one example of the type of partnership possible.

1
It is estimated that the average annual increase in life expectancy of the entire population has extended 1.96 years resulting from new drug launches from 1987 to 2012. (Source: International Journal of Healthcare Finance and Economics 5: 47-73, 2005)

Figure 1: Top 100 drugs sold in 2010
(Source: Pharmaprojects, IMS World Review, IMS LifeCycle, (C)2013 IMS Health reproduction is strictly prohibited, all rights reserved)
Office of Pharmaceutical Industry Research’s analysis based on IMS data

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