Japan, UK, US, Korea ? Cancer Clinical Trials International Symposium


On May 25th, in a very pleasant weather, Japan, UK, US and Korea held an international symposium on cancer clinical trials at the British Embassy. At the opening, British Ambassador H.E. Warren, American Ambassador H.E. Roos (see May 27th article of ‘News from the Embassy’, the web site of the American Embassy in Japan), and Minister Hwang, Soon-Taik of Korean Embassy gave speech.  I made remarks as the Chairman of Health Policy Institute of Japan followed by Dr. Agnes Chan  who closed the ceremony as the Goodwill Ambassador of Japan Cancer Society.

Regarding clinical trials, trilateral conference (ICH: International Conference on Harnomization) continued for 20 years. In these years Japan tried to respond to the constant requests by US and Europe to speed up its work, and until just recently the problem of ‘Drug Lag’ was also being called to attention within Japan.
Nowadays, world affairs are changing rapidly with increasing participation of Asia and fast growing markets as the background.  FDA of the United States has been sending their staff to China and India for many years to provide training and education so as to make common bases for clinical trials or the common system of approval of new drugs in these emerging markets. This is precisely what I call a strategic action and thinking based on good visions.  Europe is also speeding its participation, and all are working restlessly to become the ‘core of Asia’.

Korea’s rapid change was again clear from their presentation at this conference.   UK, US, and Korea sent their specialists and Japanese participants included President of PMDA and Ministry of Health.  I understand that Japanese government has launched a growth strategy, ‘Life Innovation’, and I am curious to know what sort of strategic policies they would craft.

The programs, participants, references, and reports of the symposium and action plans recommendation to our government and other stakeholders will be uploaded on the web site of ‘Health Policy Institute, Japan’, so I will report to you once they are available.