Statement 3 June 2019

JPMA, IFPMA, PhRMA, EFPIA joint statement to Prime Minister Abe


On June 3, four organizations, namely the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufactures and Associations (IFPMA), the Japan Pharmaceutical Association (JPMA), the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufactures of America (PhRMA) and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), convened “Biopharmaceutical CEO Roundtable (BCR),” a medical policy forum, in Japan to hand-deliver their joint statement to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

They asked the Japanese government to exert strong leadership at the G20 Summit which will be held in Japan in solving three global health issues: 1) realizing universal health coverage (UHC), 2) resolving unmet medical needs by discovering innovative new medicines/medical technologies, and 3) transforming to a new healthcare
system utilizing various kinds of medical data.

Their statement describes the three issues as:

  1. We still do not have enough engagement for health systems strengthening to reach the goal of universal health coverage (UHC) – ensuring access to appropriate healthcare services with reasonable cost. To encourage individual countries to further implement or strengthen actions to promote UHC, the industry looks forward to Prime Minister Abe’s strong leadership in these areas
  2. The R&D based pharmaceutical companies underscore the value of partnership involving the industry, government and academia in resolving unmet medical needs, and believe that those partnerships are a fundamental component for fostering innovation. To facilitate innovation, governmental understanding and support are crucial.
  3. Especially in the healthcare sector, there are needs to make the shift to a new healthcare system utilizing various kinds of medical data, and to develop legal frameworks that facilitate digital technology advancements, including with respect to data flows.

On June 4 in Tokyo, the four organizations co-held a press fireside chat under the theme of ” The Promise of the Biomedical Century, and Japan’s Role as Part of the Global Innovation Ecosystem” where David A. Ricks, President at IFPMA (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Eli Lilly and Company), George Nakayama, President at JPMA (Representative Director, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Daiichi
Sankyo Co., Ltd.), Olivier Brandicourt, Chairman at PhRMA (Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Sanofi), Jean-Christophe Tellier, Incoming-President at EFPIA (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Committee at UCB) and Ichiro Umeda, Former President at Pfizer who served as moderator at the event, participated.

At the press fireside chat, keywords such as the promotion of innovation, fusion of biotechnologies and digital technologies, as well as utilization of big data and real world data were pointed out. Participants’ comments on these include:

  • “The fusion of biotechnologies and digital technologies can upgrade healthcare and improve patients’ access to medical care. In remote care coordination services, it has been proved to reduce the medical expenditure.”
  • “The advancement in digital technologies enables vaccines to be developed effectively. Vaccines are highly cost-effective and help protect everyone including not only children but also the elderly at every stage of life.”
  • “Although Japan has the potential to remain amongst the global leaders in the pharmaceutical arena, it is also clear that the competition with other countries is proving increasingly fierce. We can work with the Japanese government to address the issue.”
  • “Investments to innovation are expected to improve the financial condition in a long run. We want to transit to this virtuous circle.”