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Excerpted from the Japan Career Guide

Japan’s health care industry has grown at the fastest pace of any industry sector over the past three years. The health care workforce is predicted to grow 32 percent in the next decade. Industry regulations are well developed, transparent and improving. Domestic pharmaceutical companies currently hold the largest market share, but foreign companies are rapidly expanding into the Japanese market via mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures. Pfizer, Roche (Chugai), Novartis and Merck are all operating in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry.

Long-term growth will continue to be impacted by multiple trends, including increasing patent expirations, expanding generic competitors and new drug launches; regulatory reforms; and Japan’s aging society, according to the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.

Areas of Job Promise

In Japan’s aging society, the need for health care workers will only increase. Global pharmaceutical and device firms are experiencing high demand for clinical research candidates as they increase the number of trials in Japan. Medical device firms have growing need for staff ranging from junior candidates through department heads in regulatory affairs.

Japan pharmaceutical and medical technology industry is seeing active recruiting as new drugs and medical devices are introduced, according to specialist recruiter Hays.

Certification and Education Requirements

Credentials in this field are dependent on a particular technical expertise, with usually highly-advanced levels of technical graduate school needed. Most pharmaceutical and biotech executives require an MBA and extensive business background with technical experience in this highly-regulated and long-term focused industry. The most highly paid are those with cross-educational credentials (i.e., legal expertise with medical credentials or senior sales management experience with appropriate medical expertise).

Organizations and Trade Associations

Japan Medical Association 
http://www.med.or.jp/ (Japanese, English)
The Japan Medical Association (JMA) is the national voice of Japanese physicians. Founded in 1916 and then re-established in its current form in 1947, the JMA's mission is to provide leadership for physicians and to promote the highest standards of medical ethics and education to protect the health of all Japanese citizens. On behalf of its members and the general public in Japan, the JMA performs a wide variety of functions, such as advocating health promotion and patient safety policies and strategies, advocating access to quality health care in local communities, and providing leadership and guidance to physicians to help them influence, manage and adapt to changes in health care delivery. The JMA's membership is approximately 165,000, or approximately 60 percent of all licensed physicians in Japan.

Japan Medical Association
2-28-16, Honkomagome
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8621 Japan
Tel: +81 (3) 3946-2121
Fax: +81 (3) 3946-6295
Email: jmaintl@po.med.or.jp

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Japan Guide.

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