Okayama University Hospital - selected as one of 10 core hospitals for clinical research
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Launch of mega-hospital consortium: Okayama University Hospital is selected as one of 10 core hospitals for clinical research in Japan

On April 19th Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare announced that Okayama University Hospital was selected as one of 10 core hospitals for clinical research in Japan with the goal of improving the process and quality of clinical studies by medical doctors in accordance to the Japanese Pharmaceutical Affairs Law and clinical research given by Japanese Medical Act for hospitals. This initiative is expected to be more efficient approval of applications for new drugs in Japan.

Compared with the USA and EU the process of commercializing the seeds of medical findings is both time consuming and expensive thereby creating significant barriers for the participation of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing companies.

In order to alleviate the current situation the Japanese government recently designated a total of 15 medical centers which consist of five hospitals for speeding up early stages of clinical study and 10 core hospitals for clinical research, where industry and research will collaborate to commercialize medical research under more favorable conditions to enable faster procedures for obtaining approval for the manufacture of drugs and medical devices.

Now, the relevance of this news is that Okayama University Hospital was selected one of the 10 core hospitals for clinical research in Japan for translational clinical research. As a result Okayama University Hospital is going to establish the 'Mid-West Japan Clinical Study Consortium'—consisting of 83 hospitals in the Chugoku/Shikoku region of Japan, each with a capacity of more than 200 beds—wherein it will be a 'core hospital' to check the safety and effectiveness of the clinical law and conduct trials that will enable treatment covered by the national health insurance through this consortium.

Notably, the consortium is a 'virtual mega-hospital' that plans to have a total of approximately 3300 beds within the next five years.

As one of 10 core hospitals for clinical research in Japan, Okayama University Hospital will establish a network for pediatric / rare intractable diseases in the next 5 years. It will assume a central role in the support of research that is hard to implement. The Hospital will restructure its organization to improve links with pharmaceutical development regulatory agencies including the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), and train personnel to conduct research on drugs aimed at pharmaceutical approval, working on the early practical application of medical goods and medical equipment, and acceleration of the commercialization of medical research in Japan.