In 2025, the baby-boom generation in Japan will enter advanced old age of 75 or older. Reform is being promoted in various systems, including development of an integrated community care system, differentiation and strengthening of health care functions, and promotion of partnerships in order to simultaneously achieve both suppression of rising health care costs and provision of quality health care services for a rapidly progressing super-aged society. Against this backdrop, the environment surrounding the health care and pharmaceutical industries is expected to undergo major changes.
In the dispensing pharmacy industry, this was embodied by legal reform enacted to implement functional differentiation for dispensing pharmacies and make the certification system transparent in order to allow patients to select a pharmacy according to their own preferences. This made clear the shift in focus from things to people in the role and expectations of dispensing pharmacies. The strict changes mean that those dispensing pharmacies not capable of providing high-quality interpersonal services will be forced to withdraw from the market.
Functional differentiation of dispensing pharmacies will require partnership between medical institutions and communities. The NIHON CHOUZAI Group will actively promote investment in human resources and ICT, setting our sights on people and ICT as what will support these partnerships.
Furthermore, as explained on the page outlining our business risks, the spread of COVID-19 could further accelerate the speed of restructuring in the dispensing pharmacy industry. Based on the direction of Japanese government measures as set forth in the Vision of Pharmacies for Patients and other documents, our Group will actively promote investment in human resources and ICT as mentioned above, anticipating the requirements of pharmacists and dispensing pharmacies after restructuring. We have been working on strengthening the footing of individual pharmacies ahead of our competition and will further accelerate our efforts in that regard.
Moreover, the spread of COVID-19 could also bring about significant changes in patient tendencies. Specifically, it is possible that non-face-to-face examinations and medication guidance could become permanent as a patient demand. Our Group is currently ahead of the competition in terms of our efforts, and we will establish a system that allows us to provide extensive quality health care services at all our locations to meet this demand.
Our Group will overcome these major changes in the business environment and, by “achieving the true separation of drug prescribing and dispensing” as set forth in our corporate philosophy, we will realize patient-oriented separation of drug prescribing and dispensing. Aiming to become a corporate group that can survive in the industry post-restructuring, we will promote streamlining of management at each group company and focus on improving productivity.
Moreover, to further enhance the soundness and transparency of management so that we will not lose sight of the basic direction of our Group, we will work on establishing our internal control system, including the compliance structure, and strengthen our corporate governance.