Medinew and COSMO Joint Webinar: What Patients Expect of Pharmaceutical Companies Today; Insights on Appropriate Information Provision

On October 28, COSMO co-hosted a joint webinar with Medinew, a leading medical marketing magazine with a large readership among the pharmaceutical industry. Highlights from the session have now been made available online as a Medinew seminar report (Japanese language only).

Setting out to establish answers to the event’s topic of “What Patients Expect of Pharmaceutical Companies on Appropriate Information Provision Today,” Mr. Yoshiaki Kaneko, CEO of Medinew’s operating company, Pharma Information Network, Inc., opened the webinar with a presentation on “Communication with Patients for Pharmaceuticals Marketing.”

“Promotion efforts have until now focused on improving disease awareness and patient education to increase sales, but due to changes in pharmaceutical companies’ business models and the impact of COVID-19, it is likely that we will see a shift toward more patient-centered promotion in the future. Business areas will also be required to broaden their scope from a focus on product offerings to information service offerings,” said Mr. Kaneko.
Findings and recommendations from COSMO’s “Patient Insight Report”

The next speaker, Tomomi Nagasawa, Managing Director of Cosmo Public Relations Corporation, spoke on the topic of “Patient Awareness and Behavior during Treatment Selection and Prescription: Results of a Survey of 300 Cancer Patients.”

In March this year, COSMO conducted a nationwide online survey of 300 male and female patients across ten major types of cancer in order to gain insights into how cancer patients select treatment options, as well as measuring the behavioral differences among patients with different types of cancers. Patient awareness and perceptions of 19 major pharmaceutical companies were also measured to understand how corporate reputation affects the selection of prescription drugs. The results were compiled and released in July this year under the title of “Patient Insight Report: Cancer.”

Speaking on the decision to undertake such a survey, Ms. Nagasawa explained, “In recent years, treatment options for cancer have increased. [New practices, including] informed consent, in which patients receive explanations from physicians and then decide whether or not to consent; or shared decision-making, where physicians and patients share information on evidence and decide treatment options together, are becoming mainstream. Healthcare is transitioning from a service that patients passively receive from their physician, to one that patients themselves understand and choose.”

Ms. Nagasawa then introduced key findings from the survey. For example, unmet needs when it comes to information may be inferred from the fact that while 80% of patients research treatment options, 30% cannot understand the information and still end up relying on physicians’ explanations.

When selecting prescription medicine, patients are concerned about negative news on drug manufacturers; they research manufacturers of any prescribed medication and assess the company’s reputation. This reveals patients’ desire to proactively select better treatment and implies that the reputation of pharmaceutical companies does affect to some degree patients’ evaluation of treatment options and effectiveness or safety of therapies.

Importantly pharmaceutical companies potentially stand to bridge the gap between healthcare and patients. Supporting patients’ understanding of medical information can help them to positively consent to treatments or actively decide on treatments and thus affect their level of satisfaction toward treatments.

The presentation then concluded with specific recommendations to help pharmaceutical companies fulfill their role of providing information to patients, divided into:

1. Two practical ways pharmaceutical companies can provide easy-to-understand medical information to patients.

2. Three essential elements expected of pharmaceutical companies at all times when developing corporate reputation and communicating messaging.


■ Interested readers who were unable to join the webinar or are interested in reviewing the information introduced may access the full Medinew seminar report available online here, which includes a selection of slides and graphs used during the presentation.

■ Cosmo PR’s Patient Insight Report: Cancer is available for purchase in both Japanese and English language. “The report offers detailed survey results on corporate reputation according to cancer type. It can be used to understand patient perceptions of pharmaceutical companies, including awareness levels and corporate image as manufacturers and distributors of cancer therapies. The report also provides detailed analyses of cancer patients’ thoughts and behaviors that offer valuable reference material for pharmaceutical companies when planning and implementing promotional activities.” – Medinew Japan.
Click here for an overview of the survey and details on how to purchase the report.

We’d like to thank you for your continued interest in Cosmo PR and encourage all our readers to share these links with others who may also find value in them. It is our hope that the webinar discussion, cancer patient survey, and report benefit as many people as possible.



COSMO announces Patient Insight Report at the 12th Japanese Association of Health Communication

The 12th annual conference of the Japanese Association of Health Communication was held online during September 26 – 27. Joining the “Communication with Patients and Families” segment, Cosmo PR offered a presentation on survey results from its Patient Insight Report, under a theme of “Search Behavior of Patients When Selecting Treatment Options and When Medication is Prescribed; Potential Effects of Corporate Reputation on Patients’ Selection Behavior.”

岩下裕司Medinew and COSMO Joint Webinar: What Patients Expect of Pharmaceutical Companies Today; Insights on Appropriate Information Provision
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The Acceleration of Digital Health in Japan Amid COVID-19

-The 1st COSMO Innovation Seminar-

COVID-19 is prompting an acceleration in digital transformation across all sectors. In the healthcare sector, there is growing anticipation for online medical care, app-based treatments, and “digital health”, or health management using digital devices. Regulation prohibiting physicians from providing online medical examinations to first-time patients was lifted in April this year. This was followed in July by the government announcing its Honebuto Plan, in which it stated that it would “develop a scheme to enable patients to receive the entire medical care process online, from medical examinations to receipt of pharmaceutical drugs, by offering electronic prescriptions, online medication guidance, and delivery of pharmaceutical drugs.” This trend of digitalization is only expected to accelerate further.

In recognition of this, COSMO Healthcare held the 1st COSMO Innovation Seminar on October 30 to further public understanding of digital health. Specialists knowledgeable of the current status and future of digital health in Japan and abroad were invited to join lectures, a speaker panel discussion, and participant Q&A session.

The following report includes an overview of the seminar with selected transcripts. (Please note that Japanese honorifics have been omitted for ease of reading).

岩下裕司The Acceleration of Digital Health in Japan Amid COVID-19
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What is the pathway to patient-centric ethical drug development?

Pathway to patient-centric drug development

Shift from patient engagement to public engagement

Healthcare in Japan is transitioning from care that patients passively receive, to one that they independently choose.
This trend is becoming increasingly important, not only in terms of patients’ conducting their own research and openly discussing information with healthcare professionals, but also within drug research and development. Why is collaboration between pharmaceutical researchers and patients or citizens, which was minimal in the past, needed more now? How can this be achieved?
To answer this question and more, we interviewed Dr. Imamura, who is taking on the challenge of creating a place where researchers and patients can learn together.

MatsubaraWhat is the pathway to patient-centric ethical drug development?
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Cosmo PR and HekaBio Announce Strategic Partnership and Investment in HekaBio

Cosmo PR and HekaBio Announce Strategic Partnership and Investment in HekaBio


HekaBio K.K. (hereafter: HekaBio) and Cosmo Public Relations Corporation (hereafter: Cosmo) have announced that Cosmo has made an investment in HekaBio and that the companies have entered into a strategic partnership to increase awareness of and accessibility to emerging innovations in the bioscience field that will aid in meeting the needs of patients and society as a whole.


“I am delighted with Cosmo’s investment and the strategic partnership, which I believe will be highly synergistic as we develop and bring to market a broad range of MedTech and pharma innovations that are needed in Japan. In Cosmo’s Healthcare group (hereafter “Cosmo Healthcare”), we have a strong partner with shared values. Our partnership will enable us to make a greater contribution to society through our collaborative business activities. HekaBio specializes in early access to assets in development in worldwide biotech, regenerative medicine and MedTech ventures, and the success of these programs will be greatly enhanced through collaborations that can be forged in Cosmo Healthcare’s established network” said Rob Claar, CEO of HekaBio.


“Cosmo Healthcare is constantly looking for a way to broaden knowledge of cutting-edge innovations that will lead to healthcare advancements in Japan. HekaBio has such innovative programs that there is no overlap with the activities of any of our current clients. We look forward to working with HekaBio to introduce innovative ideas and create opportunities for the further development of pharmaceuticals, delivery systems and devices that can fulfill the needs of patients and help create a healthier society” said Kumi Sato, President and CEO of Cosmo.


About HekaBio K.K.
HekaBio is an ecosystem for accelerating healthcare innovations in Japan, operating as an in-licensing bio venture, a business development firm and a contract research organization (CRO). HekaBio focuses on solutions with high potential to address patients’ unmet medical needs and deliver cost savings for society. HekaBio currently has nearly 50 programs under management, many of which are new category innovations highly valued among Japanese clinicians.


About Cosmo Public Relations Corporation
Cosmo is a long-established leader in developing communications strategies across a broad range of life science specialties. It has a firm understanding of the Japanese healthcare regulatory framework, a wide network of experts across the entire healthcare sector and unrivaled contacts within the Japanese media. Its skills in qualitative and quantitative analyses make it adept at reading public sentiment and understanding the innovations of a broad range of healthcare professionals, thereby making it able to improve communication and match interests among different stakeholders.


Press Contact:

HekaBio K.K.
Mari Tanaka

COSMO HEALTHCARE, Cosmo Public Relations Corporation
Yoko Awata

Tomomi-NagasawaCosmo PR and HekaBio Announce Strategic Partnership and Investment in HekaBio
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Online Survey of 300 Cancer Patients in Japan

Online Survey of 300 Cancer Patients in Japan

Real Patient Experiences of Choosing Cancer Treatment Revealed

30% Followed Doctors’ Recommendation Without Sufficient Understanding


TOKYO – July 31, 2020 – In light of the growing number of cancer treatment options now available, COSMO HEALTHCARE has conducted a nationwide online survey of 300 patients across ten major types of cancer in order to gain insight into how informed cancer patients are when deciding on treatment options.

MatsubaraOnline Survey of 300 Cancer Patients in Japan
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COSMO Healthcare Interview: “Japan in 10 Minutes”

No. 2: Dr. Masaharu Tsubokura, MD, of Hirata Central Hospital in Fukushima

As the second segment of COSMO’s “Japan in 10 Minutes” interview series, our CEO Kumi Sato interviews with Dr. Tsubokura, of Hirata Central Hospital in Japan.
In the interview, Dr. Tsubokura discussed the situation about PCR testing and Antibody testing in Japan.

Tomomi-NagasawaCOSMO Healthcare Interview: “Japan in 10 Minutes”
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Corporate Relevance:Communications Strategies in the COVID-19 Age

1. Should we expect a paradigm shift?

Finally we are seeing a flattening of the worldwide COVID-19 curve and lifting of lockdowns across major cities. On May 14, Japan lifted its state of emergency for 39 prefectures. With people and businesses asked to either refrain entirely or severely restrict so many activities during the crisis, we are now entering a new phase of resuming daily life while coexisting with the virus.

Some experts are predicting that the post-COVID-19 world will be accompanied by a transformational paradigm shift, spanning every aspect of our lives from business and commerce, to education to politics. Indeed, the pandemic has already ushered in rapid adoption of long-advocated initiatives, such as cashless society, online shopping, teleworking, paperless society, online education, and telemedicine. We can now finally predict that Japan will see step changes in these areas, with COVID-19 acting as the catalyst.


Tomomi-NagasawaCorporate Relevance:Communications Strategies in the COVID-19 Age
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COVID-19: Countering the Impact and Navigating Your PR Response

– Disclosing Sensitive Information and Planning Media Events –

The global spread of COVID-19 is showing no signs of abating. Companies are faced with the challenge of taking sufficient measures to prevent transmission and minimize impact, while simultaneously sustaining their business. In these circumstances, how should those of us in the field of public relations respond?

In today’s newsletter, we will apply some of the basic tenets of public relations to this unique situation and focus on two key areas with practical tips. Firstly, how to disclose sensitive information if an employee becomes infected and secondly, the critical decisions that must be taken when considering whether to go ahead with a press conference or media event in Japan.

Tomomi-NagasawaCOVID-19: Countering the Impact and Navigating Your PR Response
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COSMO Holds Reputation Risk Management Seminar

COSMO held the seminar, “Proactive Reputation Risk Management,” on November 15 spotlighting its renewed “Reputation Risk Management” core offerings.

As the pharmaceutical and medical device industries grow increasingly complex, demand for reputation risk management also increases. Even risk-averse companies have inevitably faced incidents.

Instead of approaching communication as an add-on service, COSMO recommends proactive reputation risk management, which involves strategic actions based on two cornerstones: The first cornerstone is to upgrade “risk intelligence.” It is important to take a data-driven approach to quantify reputation, including potential risks, on a regular basis. Visualizing specifics and how to fill which gaps illuminates clear strategic directions and enables planning of concrete actions.

The second cornerstone is improving the “risk management” process. This involves proactively identifying risks and bolstering resilience. A bird’s eye view of the whole process is needed to ascertain internal alignment of risk awareness, clarity of governance, and team responsibilities, and training standards.

ObaCOSMO Holds Reputation Risk Management Seminar
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