Proposal for developing a new office to promote and coordinate clinical researches/CRDS-FY2008-SP-05
Executive Summary

The life science field is positioned as one of the four priority fields that should be promoted in the Science and Technology Basic Plan and intensive investments have been made to lead the achievements in this field to innovations such as new drugs and medical devices. The efforts to promote health research have been made by promoting the fundamental research, translational research and clinical research, improving and upgrading the infrastructure for clinical research and the environment for clinical trials. This is because the health research has become an extremely important issue in Japan that faces rapid aging and a falling birthrate.

In order to lead the achievements in the life science research to promotion of health among the public, strategies eyeing from the fundamental research to clinical research on human beings and epidemiological research and their effective operation are indispensable. However, in the current situation, discontinuity of research and development due to sectionalism in the related government offices has been pointed out as a problem that particularly impedes efficient use of research expenses.

In order to break down these problems, the “Health Research Promotion Conference” was founded in the Cabinet Office to advance health-related translational research, clinical research, etc. that have been promoted individually by the related government offices in a unified and intensive manner based on one strategy. The Center for Research and Development Strategy of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST-CRDS) conducted the surveys on such countries as the United Kingdom and Singapore that founded the command centers for clinical research ahead of others and examined the current problems of health research in Japan and roles that this command center for clinical research should play in order to make sure that this conference will effectively function.

This proposal proposes what the health research control tower ought to be in order to establish this Health Research Promotion Conference in Japan as an effective organization. Specifically, we expect that it will play the role as the health research control tower by setting its mission as drawing up of health research strategies after focusing on the current situation and future of our social status, demographics and disease structure in order to promote the development of advanced medical technologies and by promoting the establishment of a promotion panel that has functions of a think tank and funding management, efforts for economic evaluation of drugs and medical devices, improvement of infrastructure for clinical and epidemiological research and development of human resources.