Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)

To save patients from the world's #1 cause of death-NCDs, which includes cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease, requires systematic action focused on prevention and care for the disease.

NCDs are the number one cause of death worldwide, according to the WHO, with 38 million people dying due to NCDs in 2012-equivalent to 68% of the 56 million global death toll. The biggest burden of NCDs is in the low- and middle-income countries, where 80% of all NCD-related deaths were reported that year.1,2 WHO Fact sheets of June 2018 say that 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all death globally, die from NCDs. In addition, 15 million people die from NCDs between the ages of 30 and 69, and more than 85% of these "premature" deaths occur in low-and middle-income countries.

According to the definition of WHO, NCDs are preventable diseases through lifestyle modification of the common causes such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and excessive alcohol use. For a narrow definition, it consists of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease. There is yet to be a formal agreement if mental illness and trauma should be added into the group of NCDs although the issues have been widely discussed.3

In 2011, the Political Declaration of the UN High-Level Meeting, calling for the international community to work together towards the prevention and control of NCDs, was adopted. In 2013, WHO announced the "Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases 2013-2020". The Global Action Plan focuses on four specific NCDs (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes), and on four shared behavioral risk factors (tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol). To highlight the need for the "prevention and management of NCDs", the Global Action Plan sets a goal of "25 by 25" (reducing the rate of premature mortality due to NCDs by 25% by the year 2025) through multi-sectoral collaboration and cooperation at national, regional and global levels, and proposes a menu of policy options under six interconnected and mutually reinforcing objectives*. The United Nations General Assembly convened the third High-level Meeting on the prevention and control of NCDs in 2018, world leaders agreed to take responsibility for their countries’ effort toward prevention and treatment of NCDs.
Targets 3.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are unanimously adopted at the United Nations Summit in September 2015, stipulates that by 2030 reduce by one-third pre-mature mortality from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) through prevention and treatment, and promote mental health and wellbeing by 2030.

In 2011, IFPMA (International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Associations) launched the "Framework for Action for the Prevention and Control of NCDs" and has made NCDs a top-level priority of its activities. Since launching the Framework, IFPMA has done much to build alliances with influential actors to address NCDs and has a website to show our industry’s commitments to fighting NCDs. JPMA supports the IFPMA Framework and will seek possible cooperation with various stakeholders in order to help improve the prevention and control of NCDs.

Over the years, JPMA member companies have researched and developed numerous leading medicines for the treatment of NCDs that are sold around the world today. JPMA member companies continue to make great efforts to research and develop innovative new medicines in the NCDs field, both in their own research facilities and in partnership with other stakeholders around the world. Furthermore, as JPMA member companies expand their presence globally, they continue to seek new ways to improve access to these new medicines not only in developed countries but also in developing countries.

  • Menu of policy options under six interconnected and mutually reinforcing objectives

    1. International cooperation and advocacy: To raise the priority accorded to the prevention and control of NCDs in global, regional and national agendas and internationally agreed development goals, through strengthened international cooperation and advocacy.

    2. Country-led multi-sectorial response: To strengthen national capacity, leadership, governance, multisectoral action and partnerships to accelerate country response for the prevention and control of NCDs.

    3. Risk factors and determinants: To reduce modifiable risk factors for NCDs and underlying social determinants through creation of health-promoting environments.

    4. Health systems and universal health coverage: To strengthen and orient health systems to address the prevention and control of NCDs and the underlying social determinants through people-centred primary health care and universal health coverage.

    5. Research, development and innovation: To promote and support national capacity for high-quality research and development for the prevention and control of NCDs.

    6. Surveillance and monitoring: To monitor the trends and determinants of NCDs and evaluate progress in their prevention and control.

Initiatives by member companies

Access Accelerated

Access Accelerated is a public-private partnership initiative established in 2017 to tackle the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases in low-and middle-income countries, involving more than 20 biopharmaceutical companies, including 7 Japanese companies*. By collaborating with the World Bank and international NGOs, we are working toward achieving SDGs target (3.4) of reducing by one- third pre-mature deaths attributable to NCDs by 2030 through improving access to prevention, treatment, and care.

  • Astellas, Chugai, Daiichi Sankyo, Eisai, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon, Takeda