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Joint Press Release with the Cabinet SecretariatThe Council on Promoting Development of Next-Generation Medical Devices Held its First Meeting toward the Establishment of a Network for Supporting Development of Medical Devices

Aiming to achieve the goal titled “extending the nation’s healthy life expectancy,” set in the Japan Revitalization Strategy, the Growth Strategy of the Government of Japan, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) collaboratively established a new council under the Healthcare Policy Promotion Council, toward the establishment of a Network for Supporting the Development of Medical Devices. METI hereby announces that on October 28, 2014, the council held its first meeting.

1. Background of the meeting

The Healthcare Policy, approved by the Cabinet on July 22, 2014, highlights the necessity of mutual cooperation among related organizations for the purpose of achieving the goal titled “extending the nation’s healthy life expectancy,” set in the Japan Revitalization Strategy, the growth strategy of the Government of Japan. In accordance with this policy, the Council on Promoting Development of Next-Generation Medical Devices was established in order to create a network for supporting development of medical devices, by which medical and manufacturing sectors will collaboratively develop and commercialize medical devices to meet the needs of people working in clinical sites, as well as to secure collaboration among the Cabinet Secretariat, related ministries, and related organizations so as to promote the development of the world’s most advanced medical equipment through cooperation between the industry, academia and government. The council held its first meeting on October 28, 2014.

Note: The Council on Promoting Development of Next-Generation Medical Devices is positioned under the Healthcare Policy Promotion Council, and managed by the Office of Healthcare Policy of the Cabinet Secretariat.

2. Outline of the Network

SMEs, venture businesses, universities, and other entities face many significant challenges in their attempts to develop and commercialize medical devices, including ascertaining the needs of people working in clinical sites, addressing laws and regulations under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, and cultivating new sales channels.

To overcome such challenges, the council held its first meeting and exchanged opinions concerning the establishment of the network, in which the related ministries and agencies (the Cabinet Secretariat, MEXT, MHLW, METI, and other agencies), the related organizations, enterprises, and regional supporting organizations will collaborate in seamlessly supporting such SMEs and other entities through the process, ranging from initial development phases to commercialization.

Through the network, participating ministries and organizations will provide seamless support through a one-stop access approach to enterprises that endeavor to develop and commercialize medical equipment, including providing information on the need of people working in clinical sites and providing fine-tuned consultations, in which counselors will give advice about overcoming challenges that such enterprises are facing in various phases in development, including issues in pharmaceutical affairs, intellectual property, overseas business development, and financing.

The secretariat of the network (MEXT, MHLW and METI) and the one-stop access counters run by supporting organizations will coordinate the network as a whole, and under the coordination, the network will be composed of regional supporting organizations, such as chambers of commerce and industry, municipalities, consulting companies, dedicated supporting organizations, and other entities. Through these efforts, community-based initiatives for developing medical devices will be strongly supported and enhanced.

3. Future actions

On October 31, 2014, the one-stop access counters for the network will open, and the network will officially launch.

For further details, see the Japanese language press release.

Release date

October 28, 2014

Division in Charge

Medical and Assistive Device Industries Office, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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