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Healthcare and Social Security

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Various systems relating to medicine and nursing care in Japan are at a turning point. The biggest issue in Japan, where the aging will reach its peak in around 2025, is to reconstruct a sustainable social security system. It is time to drastically review existing systems and supply structures in the fields of pension, medical care, and nursing care.
Medical and nursing care-related businesses such as pharmaceutical and medical devices companies are expected to play an important role amid such changes in the environment. High rates of growth are anticipated in the Japanese market in industries such as medical institutions, nursing care services, pharmaceutical, medical and nursing care equipment. They can also expect great business opportunities in overseas markets. On the other hand, the medical device and pharmaceutical businesses form a unique market environment. Thus, advanced management capability is required in addition to deep understanding of the industry.
NRI provides various consultation services to medical and nursing care-related industries as well as to new players in establishing management strategies based on the results of many years of study on social security system and the excellent knowledge of characteristics of markets in and outside Japan.

Consulting Areas

Health technology assessment (HTA)

Backed by the increase in medical expenses, adoption of Health Technology Assessment (HTA) to medical policies are becoming commonplace across the world. The British government was among the first in the world to adopt HTA to calculate the prices of pharmaceuticals. While setting a hurdle for the approval of new drugs, it serves as a basis for lowering drug prices. Also in Japan, introduction of HTA to the policies of pharmaceutical prices is now being considered in full swing. In order to protect the values of their own products, pharmaceutical companies have to establish the system to respond to the introduction of HTA.
Focusing on this issue earlier, NRI is conducting a study on the related systems in and out of Japan and promoting analysis of the evaluation methods. Based on such efforts, NRI provides services to pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers around the world in relation to organizational measures for HTA introduction, as well as to the actual evaluation operations.

Promotion of medical globalization policies

In recent years, the medical globalization is promoted all over Japan in order to deploy Japan's excellent healthcare to overseas and to further develop it as an industry. This will encourage the expansion of medical-related industries such as medical services, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals, improvement of technology in accordance with the increase of the number of reported cases, the effect of capital accumulation of related business operators, and improvement of medical services in Japan backed up by the experience in overseas.
Since the dawn of globalization of medical equipment and services, NRI has supported internationalization of medical technologies that is promoted by national policies through the implementation of related studies and researches. Based on the knowledge, we also support business activities of medical institutions and medical equipment manufacturers in expanding their businesses from the both perspectives of overseas expansion of domestic medical institutions, etc. (outbound) and acceptance of foreign patients (inbound).

Business strategies and growth strategies of the pharmaceutical industry

Pharmaceutical companies around the world have suffered from the so-called "2010 problem" or the patent cliff. Sales volume drastically declined due to the patent expiration of large-scale drugs. Leading firms have successfully used collaboration and M&A to renew their pipelines, enabling them to develop new drugs with higher mark-ups.
Based on the knowledge of business strategies in the Japanese pharmaceutical market, NRI supports pharmaceutical firms around the world in addressing critical business themes such as reform of cost structure to secure R&D costs, lifecycle management of existing products, sales reform by reinforcing medical affairs, and development of new markets overseas.

Business strategies and growth strategies of the medical device (equipment and materials) industry

The medical device market is expected to grow to the 50 trillion yen market worldwide by 2018. Also, medical device businesses attract attention from investors and corporate managers due to their generally higher profitability. Although the market is attractive, it needs innovative transition amid the drastic changes in the market environment such as worldwide progress of an aging population, increase in chronic diseases, and expansion of demand in emerging countries.
Furthermore, the medical device business forms an unique cost structure that may even be considered insane from the perspective of other manufacturing industries. Historically, competition rules in the medical device industry have been drawn up by leading and major players in the world. We cannot expect sustainable business growth without management strategies for innovation based on sufficient understanding of such a background.
Through the consistent support from top to bottom, NRI redesigns organizations to match the uniqueness of the business segment and supports formulation and execution of measures to enhance competitiveness of our clients.

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Representative Department: Consulting Division