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Messages from Keidanren Executives August, 2019 Hope and Responsibility for the Next Generation

Yoshihiko HATANAKA Vice Chair of the Board of Councillors, Keidanren
Representative Director, Chairman of the Board, Astellas Pharma Inc.

Swedish physician, academic, and statistician Hans Rosling suggested the importance of establishing a fact-based worldview in the book "Factfulness." To make a correct decision, it is necessary to form habits of controlling pessimistic instincts and accurately understanding the facts.

Presently, Japan provides the world's highest level of medical care and has society with the world's greatest longevity. On the other hand, Japan faces various problems such as increased medical expenses, and social security system reform is in progress to solve these problems. In order to realize the reform of the social security system, it is important for each of us to correctly understand the structure of benefits and contributions, and consider the future of social security as a party. To this end, with the development of public understanding, it is also necessary to prepare an environment that enables us to acquire the correct knowledge together with its philosophy in the process of education.

In addition, under the medical insurance system, it is necessary to work on the optimal allocation of medical expenses with balance between the sustainability of the universal health insurance system and the promotion of innovation. In the Society 5.0 era, the main area of healthcare will shift from curative care to ME-BYO* care and prevention, from standardized care to personalized care, and individuals will use their own data to manage their health independently. Such social changes are expected to contribute to the extension of healthy life expectancy and the optimal allocation of medical expenses.

In order to realize healthcare in the Society 5.0 era, the utilization of a healthcare database is the key. With regard to data utilization, it is essential for the people who provide data to properly understand the benefits that can be obtained. Companies are required to show successful cases and to support public understanding. Astellas Pharma has also launched new functions that analyze big data to accelerate digital transformation efforts, and are promoting data utilization in a variety of value chains.

Along with the changes in the era, collaboration across industry boundaries has begun, and innovation has been created by the combination the strengths that have been cultivated up to now with technologies and expertise in different fields. Rather than pessimistically considering the challenges we face, we open up a bright future by continually creating and returning innovation.

* ME-BYO: Early-stage disease condition prior to appearance of symptoms.