Opportunities in the Japan Medical Market
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Opportunities in the Japan Medical Market

Japan is one of the world’s top economic powers, and has a medical market to match. The market size of the medical devices in Japan is 2,316 billion yen according to the Annual Report of Pharmaceutical Production issued in 2011. Japan comes in third after the United States (42%) and the EU (34%), and accounts for about 10% of the total global market. It is also a major importer of medical devices; imports account for 49% of the total market, and the import rate is increasing slightly.

Trends in the medical device market in Japan (JPYbillion)Japan's Medical Devices Market

How will the phenomenon of population aging in Japan redefine the map of the medical device market? As a basic premise, it is clear that the graying of Japan creates new opportunities for growth in its medical device market.
The market for non-invasive or minimally invasive treatment and related devices is sure to expand. In particular, demand for devices used in non-invasive treatment that can be administered while patients keep working, even for elderly people, is expected to increase further. As the market is facing a shortage of labor, patients will naturally welcome treatments that are shorter in duration, as this will allow them to return to work within a shorter time frame. In other words, reduced or minimum patient downtime is the key to success.
Looking at changes in the annual mortality rate by cause, death from infectious diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and gastroenteritis prevailed in Japan until around 60 years ago. Since the Second World War, however, the incidence of these diseases has rapidly decreased, and they have been replaced by lifestyle-related conditions such as cancer, heart disease and cerebrovascular disease.
Cancer has ranked first among Japan’s causes of death since 1981. The number of cancer deaths in 2010 was about about 29% of the total death. It should be noted that many types of cancer develop at ages over 50, and that the number of cancer patients is expected to increase further in Japan’s aging society.

In recent years, the following principal adult disease markets have expanded as a result of Japan's graying society:

1) Cancer (lung, stomach, bowel, liver, prostate, breast, etc.)
2) Cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular)
3) Metabolic disorders (diabetes, etc.)
4) Ophthalmology (cataracts, etc.)
5) Arthritis (arthrorheumatism, etc.)
6) Male-specific diseases (benign prostate conditions, etc.)
7) Female-specific diseases (uterine fibroids, etc.)
8) Dental diseases (dedentition, gingivitis, etc.)

Market and Regulatory research

The final purpose of market research is to create a working mechanism by which a company can build a successful business model and remain profitable. There are many great textbooks on marketing, but none outlines exactly how to penetrate and succeed in a specific market with a particular product, simply because each case is different. Market size and segmentation, timing, regulatory environments and myriad other factors make each product and market unique. At Japan MDC, our specialists help you to develop an appropriate market and regulatory strategy that meets their specific needs.

Due diligence of registration

The merger and acquisitions (M&A) have recently been common in the field of medical devices. In acquiring companies, it is important to ascertain the registration status of product submission for a target company. Our consultants provide objective reports on regulatory status from a professional point of view.

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