New York and Tokyo (February 21, 2021) – Today, the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and the Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) announced a report sharing key policy-focused takeaways from their roundtable on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in super-aging Japan. On October 7, 2020, the roundtable convened experts from across the business, government, academic, aging, and non-profit sectors in a policy discussion that recognized the multifaceted risks of AMR in aging societies around the world, including super-aging Japan. In particular, Japan and other societies have the opportunity to apply lessons from the global COVID-19 response to the AMR challenge. The roundtable was held by GCOA in collaboration with HGPI and sponsored by Pfizer Japan.
Five key takeaways from the roundtable focused on spurring urgent action in the fight against AMR to support of healthy aging and a robust silver economy in super-aging Japan:
- AMR is an urgent public health issue, especially for Japan’s super-ageing population. Policy support and decisive actions focused on this vulnerable population are needed.
- The dearth of new antimicrobials represents a major market failure that requires new incentives and market-based policy reform.
- Empowerment of the ageing population has become increasingly critical in the shadows of COVID-19.
- A broad-based, society-wide set of multi-stakeholder interests are needed to address AMR issues.
- As the world’s first super-ageing country, Japan is expected to take a leading role on AMR internationally.
Michael W. Hodin, CEO of GCOA, and Dr. Hiroyuki Noda, Councilor at Office for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases & Coordination Office of Measures on Emerging Infectious Disease, Cabinet Secretariat, gave opening remarks. Key comments included:
“The Japanese government plays a key role in partnering with businesses to address the growing AMR challenge in our country and around the world. Right now, we need communication and collaboration across sectors. A multi-sectoral approach is the only way to address a challenge of this magnitude,” said Dr. Hajime Inoue, Deputy Director General of the Office for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control, Cabinet Secretariat.
Dr. Norio Ohmagari, Director of the AMR Clinical Reference Center and Director of the Disease Control and Prevention Center of the National of Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM) addressed Japan’s unique position as a super-aging society: “The use of injectable antimicrobials for patients over 65 years of age is increasing every year in Japan. As Japan tackles AMR, other aging populations will look to us—the world’s first aging society—for leadership on addressing the AMR challenge in the context of population aging.”
Emphasizing the importance of innovation, Michael W. Hodin said, “Because of Japan’s super-aging status, AMR poses a unique and heightened threat to the country. Despite this urgency, antibiotic innovation has all but dried up. In order to fully support its aging population, Japan must commit to supporting an innovation-friendly environment that incentivizes investment in new antibiotics and fosters a robust pipeline of antibiotics.”
AMR is a principal barrier to healthy aging and threatens lifesaving 20th-century progress in science, medicine, and sanitation in societies around the world, including in super-aging Japan. To read GCOA’s Call to Action to tackle AMR, click here.
Global Coalition on Aging
The Global Coalition on Aging aims to reshape how global leaders approach and prepare for the 21st century’s profound shift in population aging. GCOA uniquely brings together global corporations across industry sectors with common strategic interests in aging populations, a comprehensive and systemic understanding of aging, and an optimistic view of its impact. Through research, public policy analysis, advocacy, and strategic communications, GCOA is advancing innovative solutions and working to ensure global aging is a path to health, productivity and economic growth.
Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI)
Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI) is a Tokyo-based, independent, non-profit, and non-partisan health policy think tank established in 2004. Since its establishment, HGPI has been working to realize citizen-centric health policies by gathering together diverse stakeholders and developing policy recommendations. HGPI is committed to serving as a truly independent organization that can provide society with new ideas from a broad, long-term perspective in order to foster fair and healthy communities. HGPI looks forward to continuing to partner with people from all around the world as we continue our work for the development of effective health policy solutions for Japanese and global issues.