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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Optimism for 2020

We’re now a month into 2020, but this year is a significant milestone for COSMO, marking the 60th anniversary of our agency. Since our establishment in 1960, COSMO has evolved from providing editorial services for Japanese companies to being a pioneer in Japan’s communications industry, now specializing in globally-focused healthcare consultancy. A key driving force for COSMO’s business growth has always been to strive to make progress in our field. During this landmark year, we will continue to make advancements in healthcare communications that deliver meaningful value for our clients.

ObaOptimism for 2020
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EyeforPharma Patient Summit USA: Patient Engagement Insights

Q&A with the Change Makers at the Forefront of Patient-Centricity

COSMO’s senior consultant in Washington DC, Emi Yasukawa, reports on the EyeforPharma Patient Summit USA held October 2 – 3. At the two-day summit in Philadelphia, pharmaceutical industry professionals and patient advocacy groups gathered to share their insights move the industry forward.

In this article, I am honored to share insights and takeaways from three change makers. The following are three key takeaways that will help us form our next moves regarding patient engagement:

  1. The industry is shifting from working for patients, to working with patients.
    Many patient groups voiced concerns that research conducted without their direct involvement was incongruent with patient needs. Involving patients throughout the development process will give profound insights into how the disease is understood. John Linnell, a COPD patient and director of the US COPD Coalition, aptly summed this up, “If it is without us [patients], it is not about us.”
    Read John’s interview on his involvement as a COPD patient »

  2. There is synergy between patient and employee engagement.
    EyeforPharma polled the audience about their beliefs about where patient centricity begins; 70% of attendees responded that patient centricity begins from a top down and then bottom-up approach.
    Dr. Lode Dewulf, Chief Patient Affairs Officer of Servier Group, says that it is important not to create a standardized approach to internally organize for patient engagement, noting that the first step is to understand the very specific needs and aspirations of the company.
    Read Dr. Dewulf’s perspectives as Chief Patient Officer »

  3. Patient engagement involves more than patients; it involves their families, patient groups, healthcare professionals, caretakers and the community.
    Kazuyoshi Hatanaka, Chairman of Japan Partners for Patient-Centric Care (JPPaC), strives to improve pharmaceuticals for patients. Historically, patients were seen as consumers of pharmaceuticals; however, Mr. Hatanaka’s NPO is expanding the circle of patient centricity in Japan and bridging dialogue between patients, patient advocacy groups, pharmaceutical companies, and HCPs.
    Read Mr. Hatanaka’s insights on patient engagement in Japan »
ObaEyeforPharma Patient Summit USA: Patient Engagement Insights
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Q&A with the Change Makers at the Forefront of Patient-Centricity: COPD patient-involvement activities

John Linnell, COPD Foundation, US COPD Coalition

John was diagnosed with COPD in 2005 at the age of 50. Now, he has been serving numerous patient advocacy positions, at both national and international levels.
John is a member of the Board of Directors for the US COPD Coalition, the Executive Board of Directors for EFFORTS, and the Governing Board for the COPD Foundation PPRN (Patient Powered Research Network). John also sat as a patient reviewer for the United States Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program for several years. John is also finishing a study funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, entitled, “Impact of a Peer Support Program Amongst COPD Patients and Their Caregivers.” The outcomes and results are currently being prepared for publication in a peer reviewed medical journal which will list him as a co-author.

ObaQ&A with the Change Makers at the Forefront of Patient-Centricity: COPD patient-involvement activities
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Q&A with the Change Makers at the Forefront of Patient-Centricity: Accelerating the cultural change toward patient-centricity

Lode Dewulf is trusted as a global thought leader for patient engagement in medicine development. He currently works as Chief Patient Officer at Servier, a foundation-governed global pharmaceutical company.

Dr. Lode Dewulf

Lode Dewulf, MD, DPM, FFPM, Chief Patient Affairs Officer, Servier

When Dr. Dewulf studied and practiced medicine, he quickly realized that true engagement, with the patients and their families, are at least as important as good medicine in achieving the best health outcomes. He joined the pharmaceutical industry in 1989 to create a broader impact through medical education. Ten years later, when the internet started to grow as a new way to provide quality medical information, he took a sabbatical and co-founded PlanetMedica, Europe’s first healthcare portal. Dr. Dewulf continued in global executive leadership roles in pharmaceutical medical affairs. In 2012 at UCB, he became Chief Patient Affairs Officer, the industry’s first executive dedicated to patient affairs. Dr. Dewulf volunteers his time supporting individual patients and advising both private and public organizations about patient engagement.

ObaQ&A with the Change Makers at the Forefront of Patient-Centricity: Accelerating the cultural change toward patient-centricity
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Q&A with the Change Makers at the Forefront of Patient-Centricity: Challenges and Actions Needed for Patient-Centricity in Japan

Kazuyoshi Hatanaka

Kazuyoshi Hatanaka, Chairman of Japan Partners for Patient-Centric Care (JPPaC)

Mr. Kazuyoshi Hatanaka has vast experience in the pharmaceutical industry and worked from 1968 to 2006 at Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, which merged to become Astellas Pharma Inc. He was also a management consulting professional at Hatanaka Pharma Consulting, a Professor at Kagawa University Business School Graduate School of Management, and an auditor at Toho Pharmaceutical.

Since 2014, Mr. Hatanaka serves as the Chairman of an non-profit organization (NPO) called Japan Partners for Patient-Centric Care (JPPaC), whose mission is “The needs of the patient come first”. Through his NPO activities, he is learning from survivors of intractable diseases and cancer, regarding what it is to be a patient, and how should “patient-centric medicine” be defined.

Current titles: Chairman of Japan Partners for Patient-Centric Care (JPPaC) and Specially Appointed Professor, Graduate School of Pharma Management, Japan University of Economics

Q: We have heard that your NPO, JPPaC, is a patient advocacy group that will be participating in eyeforpharma Japan. We would like to ask you about JPPaC’s activities, as well as your thoughts on your timing of re-acknowledging the importance of patient-centricity and putting it into practice as a patient advocacy group in Japan – why now?

ObaQ&A with the Change Makers at the Forefront of Patient-Centricity: Challenges and Actions Needed for Patient-Centricity in Japan
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