Strengthening Measures on Emerging Infectious Diseases

From the end of 2019, cases of novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) began to be reported in Wuhan, China, and a pandemic was declared by WHO on March 11, 2020. The epidemic areas have continued to spread, and the number of cases continues to rise, and a second wave of COVID-19 has emerged in Japan (as of July 2020).
Since 2000, there have been outbreaks of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2002, pandemic H1N1 influenza in 2009, and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) in 2012 in many parts of the world. The lessons learned from the pandemic in Singapore and Korea have been applied in a timely manner, including the strengthening of the diagnostic systems, and these COVID-19 countermeasures have been highly regarded by the international community.

In Japan, the number of deaths from COVID-19 is still lower than in other countries, but the need to be prepared for emerging infectious diseases inside Japan and internationally has become evident during normal times. In this context, the member companies of the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers' Association (JPMA) have started to develop therapeutic agents and vaccines for COVID-19, as well as to explore to find the effect on COVID-19 with existing medicines, expand indications (drug repositioning), and provide a variety of support services.However, considering timely response to upcoming emerging infections, it is important to identify specific issues during normal times and to create an environment for planning and implementing measures that respond to these emerging issues in order to enable prompt and responsive national decision-making.On June 17, 2020, JPMA submitted its " The Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA) Proposal for Creation of Drugs and Vaccines for Infectious Diseases -Facing the outbreak of a new coronavirus infection as a possible turning point-" to the Japanese government in response to the outbreak of COVID-19.
This proposal aims to achieve a dynamic collaboration among industry, government, and academia.It is proposed that a control tower function be established to oversee everything from ordinary immunization measures during normal times to countermeasures against emerging infectious diseases.
In addition, it is proposed that a support system should be established promptly to minimize the economic burden and risks associated with private companies and research institutions embarking on research and development of therapeutic drugs and vaccines for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.
Moreover, as a necessary measure to ensure a stable supply, we present our thoughts on distribution and logistics, the drug pricing system, the development of incentive programs, and intellectual property, and propose the desired form of countermeasures against emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases that will lead to Japan's national security.
The pharmaceutical companies that are members of JPMA are keenly aware of our mission to discover new medicines and vaccines for COVID-19 and to ensure a stable supply of medicines, and we renew our commitment to further efforts to end the pandemic and to the future.
In order to prepare for infectious diseases, we will work together with government, and academia striving to contribute to the international community as well as to the domestic market.

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