Reaching the 2 billion: The Japanese pharmaceutical industry and access to medicine
A commentary by Jayasree K. Iyer and Danny Edwards, on the increasing orientation of Japan towards global health issues, and the growing contribution of the the Japanese pharmaceutical industry towards achieving access to medicine goals.
There is an on-going challenge to the global community: ensuring quality, affordable, accessible healthcare to people living in developing countries. It is estimated that two billion people lack access to essential medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, with most of these people living in resource-poor settings. Governments, non-government organisations (NGOs), and private sector organisations need to all coordinate activities to ensure that products and solutions reach the people who need them.
As the innovators and producers of key medicines, vaccines and diagnostics, the pharmaceutical industry has a central role in alleviating this burden. However, industry must be supported in turn by the other stakeholders: governments have a role in creating a supportive environment for companies to development products for the poor, and NGOs identify and communicate pressing issues, and have intimate knowledge of needs and gaps.