Our far-flung editors have their fingers on the pulse of the global medtech industry. Yvonne Klöpping (Frankfurt), Miki Anzai (Tokyo) and Helen Zhang (Beijing) come across an abundance of interesting information, much of which is published, but not always in English. They will be sharing that information on a regular basis in this new column. Here is a report from Miki Anzai, Associate Editor of Japan Medical Design & Manufacturing Technology.
I am looking forward to the Medical Device Strategy Institute’s second study forum. Japan’s premier think tank focused on the medtech industry, the institute will convene in January to review the amount of time it takes to get medical devices approved for reimbursement. The MDSI holds study meetings every time it publishes a research paper. I attended the MDSI’s first meeting in October and filed this report.
The Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry has announced that it will launch a portal to disseminate information about regional achievements in biotechnology and medical equipment. The local government delegated the task of creating the site to the Mitsubishi Chemical Techno-Research Corp. The bilingual English and Japanese site will promote the activities of Kansai-based companies, research institutes and universities that are involved in medical technology. The portal is scheduled to launch in March 2011.
At a Cabinet meeting on 7 December, Japan’s government endorsed a plan to encourage the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Agency to work diligently to eliminate the so-called “device lag” by the end of March 2014. The device lag—the glacial pace at which regulatory approvals are granted to device manufacturers—hinders innovation and prevents people in Japan from having access to advanced medical technology. I discussed this and other issues affecting Japan’s device industry in a recent interview with Kazuo Ogino, chairman of the Japan Federation of Medical Device Associations.Miki Anzai