Ritsumeikan University and St. Luke's International University are the first two universities in Japan to be selected by the National Institute of Public Health to serve as official assessment organizations for the evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of newly-introduced medicines and Medical devices under a new scheme launched in April 2019.
Developed nations including Japan face the problem of ballooning healthcare costs in step with the advancement of technology and the aging of society. By assessing cost-effectiveness and taking other measures to perform economic evaluations in healthcare, the true cost of medicines and medical devices can be clearly presented to the public, and the results of these analyses can be used in deciding healthcare policy. In recent years, Japan and other nations have been intently studying this issue.
The results of cost-effectiveness analysis are already being utilized in Europe, Australia, and some parts of Asia to enact policies to ensure efficacy and fairness in healthcare. After a multi-year trial, Japan adopted a new cost-effectiveness evaluation scheme this year.
To put this system into practice, the National Institute of Public Health has selected Ritsumeikan University as one of the first official assessment organizations in Japan. The project will be led by College of Life Sciences faculty members who specialize in health technology assessments, health economics, health outcomes research, and policymaking for health resource allocation.
Ritsumeikan University will work with the Center for Outcomes Research and Economic Evaluation for Health (C2H) at the National Institute of Public Health to review and re-analyze the cost-effectiveness assessment data submitted by manufacturers of medicines and medical devices and report the results of these analyses to the Special Committee on Cost-Effectiveness Evaluation at the Central Social Insurance Medical Council. *
In addition to conducting these analyses, Ritsumeikan University will develop new comprehensive assessment methods to enable the government to clearly present the social value of medicines and medical devices to the public and train experts in this field. In so doing, we will fulfill our role as a key Japanese research center in the field and contribute to maximizing the healthy life years of the resident population in Japan, within the limits of available healthcare resources.
* Central Social Insurance Medical Council: An advisory body of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare that deliberates Japan’s health insurance programs, medical fee revisions, and other matters.
National Institute of Public Health homepage: https://www.niph.go.jp/en/index/