Message from Chairman
Japan Kampo Medicines Manufacturers Association
We are pleased to announce that, on July 21, 2023, JKMA will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its founding in 1983. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of our stakeholders for your support and cooperation. To enable Kampo products, crude drug products and crude drugs to continue to contribute to people's health and medical care in our superaged society, there are many issues to be addressed, not only for ensuring the efficacy, safety and quality of Kampo products, etc., but also for continuing accumulation of basic and clinical evidence, the stable procurement of crude drugs for Kampo preparations, the stable supply of products.
Against this backdrop, based on the recommendations compiled and announced at the The Forum: The Vision for Kampo Medicines and Public Welfare (hereinafter the “Vision Forum”), which has been held annually, the JKMA has also formulated Future Vision for Kampo Medicines 2040 and is working to resolve these issues. FY2023 is the third year of the first five-year action plan.
As a part of the JKMA's activities, we will continue providing research grants this fiscal year to promote research into medical economics in fields where Kampo medicines can be expected to be effective, such as geriatric diseases and supportive care in cancer, and two research projects receiving our grants have already launched.
Vision Forum 2022 was held on February 20, 2023 on the theme, “The Role of Kampo Medicines during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Focusing on Post COVID-19 Conditions,” where presentations were made on the progress of the Vision Forum's recommendations and the various issues surrounding ethical Kampo formulations. The Forum included the presentation of research results and various evidence related to COVID-19, as well as active discussion, providing another opportunity to realize the expectations for Kampo products, etc.
In the FY2023, the prices of products for which the deviation rate exceeded 0.625 times the average rate of 7% were revised, as in the intermediate revision in FY2021. On the other hand, as a measure to support the stable supply of pharmaceuticals in the midst of the soaring prices of energy resources and commodities, the re-examination of the unprofitability of Kampo products for ethical use and crude drug products was temporarily and exceptionally approved.
The supply of ethical Kampo formulations has been unprofitable due to the repeated reduction of the drug price, the consistently high prices of crude drugs for Kampo preparations, the depreciation of the yen, sharply rising energy costs and other factors. Going forward, JKMA will provide the necessary information to establish a universal framework for the elimination of unprofitable operations while approaching the government and administrative bodies, and informing them about the current difficulties which could possibly disrupt the continuous stable supply of ethical Kampo formulations.
Regarding efforts to promote the use of OTC Kampo products and crude drug products, a further 42 ingredients that were not on the Rx-to-OTC switch list are now covered after the revision of the Self-Medication Taxation System, resulting in OTC Kampo products and crude drug products that contain the three crude drugs lumbricalis, ephedra and nandian fruit also being covered.
In the future, in addition to the verification of the effects of the taxation system revision, we will continue to request that self-medication be promoted using OTC Kampo products and crude drug products that meet the diverse circumstances of individual consumers.
Furthermore, to encourage the further use as a means of self-medication, of OTC Kampo products and crude drug products containing Japanese angelica and cnidium rhizome and other crude drug, which can contribute to the mental and physical heath of women, we will provide appropriate information and conduct educational activities in cooperation with the relevant government agencies, industry associations and other organizations.
Regarding the domestic cultivation of crude drugs, we will work to establish a system to supply seeds and seedlings to people newly engaged in the cultivation of medicinal plants, in addition to continuing the same activities as last year. Through these activities, we will continue to develop production areas for medicinal crops to match producers with consumers.
Regarding the stable procurement of crude drugs for Kampo preparations, to maintain a good relationship with China, which accounts for more than 80% of our total procurement volume, we will work to resume exchange meetings with the China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Medicines & Health Products under the People's Republic of China's Ministry of Commerce which have been postponed for three consecutive years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four years have passed since the implementation of the Guidelines for Sales Information Provision Activities for Ethical Drugs. Our member companies have established a system for complying with the guidelines, while some still have issues which have not been sufficiently addressed. Therefore, JKMA will continue to support them.
We would like to ask for your continued understanding and support of our activities.