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Danish-Japanese Life Science Community support the Japan Health Care Vision

28.09.2018  04:57

Life Science Community - DK-JPN Health Network Workshop, September 24th 2018.

Denmark and Japan must cooperate on prioritized health goals and focused life science efforts. That is the recommendation, following a broadly represented group of health and life science experts, interested in the Japanese healthcare market. The joint DK-JPN Health experts meeting drew up ideas and recommendations for more focused and systematic bilateral cooperation on health initiatives, where Denmark and Danish competences in tandem with Japanese partners can contribute to better health, economic growth and job creation.

The initiative to create a growth community follows a bilateral sector cooperation agreement in health and an established strategic partnership between Denmark and Japan. The goal is to operationalize the Danish Government's Growth Plan for Life Science, strengthen joint development and commercialization, and help deliver on the Japan Health Care 2035 Vision for a responsive health provider system, by empowering society and support citizen participation, delivering global health and life sciences leadership.

Japan is a mirror image of our future ... and valuable trading partner

“The success of Japan’s health system matters not only because of its importance to Japanese citizens, but also because Japan is a barometer of Western health.” Those were the writings of, Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, one of the world's leading medical journals. In 2010, Japan's elderly (+65) represented 25% of a population of 127 million. The group of elderly is expected to grow to a 30% share in 2025 and increasingly contributes to health and social costs. Japan is now the world's second largest market for health related products.

For Denmark, Japan contributes to increased growth and trade of medical products has been steadily increasing. Between 2016 and 2017, exports of medicines to Japan increased by 48%, from 3.4 billion to 5.2 billion DKK., and is now Denmark's fourth largest trading partner for medical products.

Create growth through health innovation

The starting point for the DK-JPN growth community in health, is the overall desire for better framework conditions - to incentivize and commercialize solutions to health and societal challenges. The cooperation is rooted in a bilateral agreement to ensure systematic cooperation on investment, innovation and export promotion, based on economic growth through health innovation.

The outcome of the DK-JPN Health expert meeting included recommendations to formalize bilateral cooperation areas and to organize concrete networks that strengthen the health science community through internationalization. Proposals for health-related topics included improvement of therapeutic areas through evidence-based treatment and disease interventions; patient-centered solutions and health promotion. Politically, it was recommended to ensure better framework conditions for life science commercialization and access to innovative solutions, including future proofing the value chain by continued capability building and competence lift to health science disciplines; topic-based government cooperation; and focus on growth and internationalization.

As a mirror image of our own future, Denmark can learn a lot through close cooperation with Japan. At the same time, we can target one of Denmark's international strengths in health and life sciences, and contribute with sharing experiences and implement solutions. The Government's Growth Plan for Life Science is a good starting point for focusing on areas where health, growth and knowledge-intensive jobs can contribute positively to our common health and societal challenges.

A Big Thank you to all the participants and your commitment to support the Danish and Japanese growth agenda through health innovation. From patient associations, professional interest groups, academic environments, small and large companies, you have all helped shape the directional travel. It is through partnerships and the unifying coordination of our competencies, that we can deliver a growth community and increase prosperity - both for citizens, companies, our two nations and the international community.

Once again thank you.

Article in Danish

Growth Community - DK-JPN Health Network Workshop, September 24th 2018. Copenhagen, Denmark
Mr. Joakim Steen Barron-Mikkelsen, Economic Diplomacy in Health, Royal Danish Embassy, Tokyo, Japan