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The Future Reputation of Japan’ Pharmaceutical Market

Asia
Public Administration
Regulation
Qualitative
Quantitative
Hadas Kushelevich
Osaka university
Hadas Kushelevich
Osaka university

Abstract

This study will investigate Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) within an innovative framework called "Reputation Approach". The Reputation Approach conceptualizes the ways reputation-sensitive bureaucratic bodies function as organizations within the governmental system and inside the black box of the executive government. This approach centers on the evaluation of the organization’s unique character and activities by multiple audiences. Curiously, Japanese public agencies have not yet been analyzed within the Reputation Approach framework. Thus, this analysis could shed new light on the ways Japanese agencies work and interact with the wider scientific community and the public, and hopefully provide new theoretical insights. The core argument of the Reputation Approach is that agencies attempt to cultivate reputation that will enable them to gain autonomy and legitimation. According to this approach, once reputation-sensitive agencies notice that political changes occurs, and it might have an effect on the agency’s reputation, they will likely to react in adaptive strategic ways on the basis of their understanding of their distinct reputation. Using both empirical and historical review of Japan’ drugs and medical devices safety administration, this paper will analyze the fluctuations within the agency’s strategy. Specifically, it will focus on the 2001 reform in the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) invigorated by the fact that Japan’s aging society has become commercially attractive for global pharmaceutical companies. This research suggests three optional organizational strategies: reputation for expertise, reputation for protection, reputation for public safety. Each one of these strategies will lead to different outcomes, which affects the PMDA efficiency and status in the domestic and global pharmaceutical market and may have an overall impact on public health policies.