Role of the pharmaceutical industry


  • EFPIA Japan hopes that by development of new drugs, there will be less patients suffering from diseases, and through prevention such as vaccines, many people will live in health without diseases.
  • Developing a new drug requires a significant period of time spent on research and development of approximately 700,000 potential compounds1) and technology, quality confirmation, and strict adherence to the law and others. It takes nine to sixteen years and enormous amounts of money ranging from 50 billion yen for domestic only development to 170 billion yen for international development due to globalization by the time it reaches the patients2) 3). Also, drug developers are obligated to gather numerous information to promote appropriate use such as investigation of usage status and reporting of adverse events after marketing a new drug.
  • After such a long journey, scientific technology, advancement in medicine and cooperative work with many people is essential in order to deliver drugs that are truly needed by patients.
  • When conducting a cooperative research with physicians and investigators, it adheres to regulations such as the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Act, promotional code and fair competition code, and after a contract is finalized, provides appropriate compensation to medical institutions and healthcare professionals.
  • EFPIA Japan considers delivering good medicine in an appropriate usage to be the most important thing, and should never get in the way of scientific or medical development or pose a setback that is not beneficial to patients.
  • In order to achieve this, it is important to increase transparency by disclosing information on the relationship(s) between corporation and medical institutions as well as physicians. We will continue to make an effort in order for general citizens to understand the activities conducted by pharmaceutical companies under high ethical standards, including information disclosure.

EFPIA Japan’s positioning

1)Patients Benefits

  • A mission of the pharmaceutical company is to contribute to treating a patients’ disease through the appropriate use of drugs, which are the deliverables of scientific technology and medical advancement. In the process to generate deliverables, securing transparency between pharmaceutical companies and medical institutes/medical professionals and keeping a high level of morality is a priority. We believe that contributing to the advancement of life sciences, in medicine or in pharmaceutical will lead to the benefit of patients. Moreover, drugs that reach patients will change therapies themselves and contribute further to medical advancement.
    Industry and academic-cooperative activities are critical for such drugs to be developed, reach the patients and for medical advancement.

2)Ethical Requirements

  • Adherence to the highest level of ethics is critical in such collaboration.
  • The more such collaborations take place, the more transparency is required, because life science research is highly complex where stakeholders with different background and interests play part.

3)Importance of Disclosure

  • Transparency highlights the integrity of medical research and helps to clarify and enhance public understanding of the critical nature of pharmaceutical companies’ collaboration with academia and medical societies.
  • Each company needs to respect and make its own decision on how to follow such guidelines and policies.


    1)JPMA DATABOOK 2016

    2)JPMA Textbook pharmaceutical industry 2016-2017

    3)Yagi T.Ohkubo, M, “Period and costs of development of pharmaceutical products – Survey by questionnaire- “,Office of Pharmaceutical Industry Research, Research paper series, No. 59, Office of Pharmaceutical Industry Research, July 2013. (Access date: December 5th,