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Pharmaceuticals & Medical Products

Japan is the second largest market in the world for pharmaceutical and medical products and a historical source of innovation. McKinsey has a significant Pharmaceuticals & Medical Products Practice in Japan, serving many of the Japan-based pharmaceutical and device companies (both large and small) as well as the majority of the leading multinational players in this critical market. Our clients include manufacturers of both branded and generic pharmaceuticals, medical-device and diagnostic-equipment makers, and providers of over-the-counter and personal healthcare products.

Our extensive experience and understanding of Japan’s healthcare system and regulations position us well to help clients resolve the complex issues facing participants in this evolving sector.

Recent examples of our work range from sales and marketing (including product launch), business development and organizational transformation (including alliances, co-promotions, acquisitions, and post-merger integration), and targeted improvement initiatives in R&D and within operational areas.

McKinsey has also supported regulatory agencies and industry associations on various initiatives to improve access to medicines and improve the delivery of healthcare in Japan. Our practice leaders in Japan represent a mix of both global and Japanese practitioners, all with deep expertise in the industry.

For more information visit our global Pharmaceutical & Medical Products Practice site.

Featured insight


Advancing real-world evidence for pharmaceutical companies in Japan

– Pharma companies in Japan have an opportunity to obtain value from real-world evidence using advanced analytics and to better... ensure patient outcomes.

Demystifying the omnichannel commercial model for pharma companies in Asia

– An analytics-enabled omnichannel commercial model can elevate HCP engagement, but many pharma companies are not sure where to... start. We share a four-step methodology for transforming HCP engagement via analytics.

Measuring Impact: Causal analysis of Medical Science Liaisons satisfaction

Learn how QuantumBlack conducted AI based causal analysis for Medical Affairs. Discover key drivers of MSL impact.

COVID-19 in Pharma Commercial: Navigating an uneven recovery

To respond best to the changes... driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, pharma companies should consider reorienting their commercial models to fit the needs of healthcare providers and patients better.

Change in the Japanese pharmaceutical market: Cradle of innovation or grave of corporate profits?

– Understanding structural shifts in the market can help pharma stakeholders innovate and, ultimately, deliver benefits for patients.

What’s next for Japan’s pharma market

– The president of Merck in Japan discusses how healthcare players in the country can capitalize on early detection rates and use... collaboration to drive innovation.

From semiconductors to life sciences: Building a global business out of Japan

– The president and CEO of JSR Corporation discusses the company’s plans to grow a global healthcare franchise building from... his lessons in the semiconductor industry.

The digital imperative for pharma companies in Japan

– Five facts showing that companies should invest in digital customer engagement in Japan.

The medtech opportunity for Japanese companies

– A large-scale commitment to growth in healthcare technologies could be a key contributor to the Japanese economy.

Elevating the impact of medical affairs in Japan

– Recent research sheds light on the value of the medical channel and what it takes to have a high-performing medical-affairs organization.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Japan: Lessons from a hyperaging society

– The country’s population, already the world’s oldest, is aging quickly. Companies in Europe, North America, and Asia... can learn from its experience.

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