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Lilly CEO Calls for Biopharmaceutical Industry Changes and Policies That Encourage Medical Innovation
Date:3/9/2011

competitiveness of companies operating in Japan. He also called for Japan to extend the data-exclusivity period for biologics to 12 years to be consistent with U.S. policy adopted as part of health care reform last year.

Lechleiter urged the Japanese government to further expand policies that are creating an environment for innovation:

  • He called on the government to permanently adopt pricing reforms initiated in April 2010 that provide for price stability over the life of a patent or exclusivity period, which will help ensure that patients have prompt access to the world's most advanced medicines.
  • He encouraged the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) to continue to accept multinational clinical-trial protocols and to make it easier for companies to include Japan in early investigational clinical trials. He said that such policies have reduced both the costs of completing clinical research in Japan and delays in bringing new medicines to Japanese patients.  

Lechleiter said that Japanese biopharmaceutical research has produced some of the world's leading medicines and that the government has recognized health care, including pharmaceuticals, as a key economic growth driver. Noting that Japan is the world's second-largest pharmaceuticals market, he said that Lilly Japan is the company's largest affiliate outside the United States. Lilly Japan was established in 1975, opened its Seishin Laboratories in 1981, and today has more than 2,300 employees across all areas of the business. As reported by IMS, Lilly also is currently the fastest growing multinational pharmaceutical company in Japan, with sales of nearly $1.6 billion in 2010.  

"Innovation is not a panacea for the challenges facing our economies and health care systems, but it is hard to see any way out of the current crisis without innovation," Lechleiter concluded.

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