Isao Kamae, MD, DrPH is a professor and physician of the health technology assessment (HTA) project, Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo in Japan. He also serves as a research director for health economics and policy at The Canon Institute for Global Studies, Tokyo, Japan and as an advisory expert for the World Health Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. He has previously worked as an associate professor at Medical Informatics Department, Shimane Medical University from 1993-1994, and at Kyoto University Hospital from 1994-1997, a professor at Kobe University School of Medicine from 1997-2007, and Keio University from 2007-2012.
Dr Kamae is Japan's foremost expert in HTA and pharmacoeconomics and has been serving as one of the most influential scholars in Japan to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) on the new policy for cost-effectiveness requirements in repricing of pharmaceutical and medical device products, which was provisionally initiated by MHLW in 2016 and institutionalized in 2019.
He has many prominent 'the first' records, including the first Japanese awarded a Doctor of Public Health in health decision sciences from Harvard University in 1995, one of the founders for the ISPOR Asia Consortium, a host of the first ISPOR Asia Pacific conference in Kobe, Japan in 2003, the founding president of the ISPOR Japan Chapter from 2005-2009, and the first Asia-origin ISPOR Board of Director from 2004-2006.
As an active member of ISPOR, Dr Kamae has served on many initiatives, including the ISPOR Vision 2010 Committee, the ISPOR Quality Improvement of Cost-Effectiveness Research Council, the ISPOR Vision 2020 Implementation Task Force, chair-elect of Asia Consortium 2014-2016, the executive committee chair of ISPOR Asia Consortium in 2016-2018 and a host of the ISPOR Asia Pacific 2018 conference in Tokyo, Japan, which was the most successful ISPOR Asia Pacific conference in 15 years (since the 2003 conference in Kobe, Japan).
Dr Kamae’s research interest is primarily in pharmacoeconomics and HTA, especially focused on the methodological issues of cost-benefit function and ratios theory and its application for Japanese-style value-based pricing. In May 2014, his article was honorably included as one of the 30 selected papers in the memorial book of Professor Bengt Jönsson, Stockholm School of Economics.
He has published 180 papers and completed work on 31 books. He wrote the first book written in English on HTA in Japan published by Adis/Springer in 2019, which provided an introduction to the Japanese systems for HTA, policy and official guidelines, and valuable knowledge and insight for both beginners and experts beyond the scope of Japan.
Dr Kamae serves as an editorial board member for Journal of Medical Economics and served as the guest editor of ISPOR’s official journal, Value in Health, second Asia-Pacific Issue in 2009. He has been also awarded ISPOR Distinguished Service Award 4 times. He appeared in ISPOR’s September/October 2019 issue of Values & Outcomes Spotlight with an interview article on Aging in Asia.
ISPOR Vision Statement by Isao Kamae
Consideration on the ISPOR vision reminds me of Paul Gaugin's inscription on the most famous masterpiece in Tahiti, “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” 1897. With respect to this first and second phrase, ISPOR has been widely recognized for more than 20 years and has established a preeminent position as the global leader in the field of health economics and outcomes research (HEOR) since its proactive vision for globalization was initially proposed in the Vision 2010 Committee in 2005.
The first entity of ISPOR globalization was the Asia Consortium that was established in 2005. Its success has driven ISPOR to develop additional regional groups. The Latin America Consortium launched after the Asian model, and Central and Eastern Europe Consortium, Africa Network, Arabic Network have followed.
Currently we find the Society’s membership includes 20,000 individual and chapter members and more than 85 chapters with the members from 110+ countries worldwide. ISPOR has achieved such great success, enhancing the organizational values with its 4 strategic pillars: scientific and research excellence, member engagement, education and training, and communication and collaboration.
Hence, considering the third phrase of Gaugin, “Where Are We Going?,” I celebrate and strongly support the ISPOR Strategic Plan Update 2024 towards the next stage of evolution. To make it a reality, however, many challenges remain in significantly changing environments of healthcare in the world. Innovative but expensive technology, application of AI, advanced bioengineering, an aging society, global warming, and so on and so forth. The United Nations World Population Prospect reports that the global trend of an aging society will be accelerated. Particularly the statistics are extremely concerning in Asia.
Regarding these world changes, one of my central goals as a President-Elect is that we further strengthen the scientific and practical capability of HEOR in the regions. ISPOR has already experienced its President Federico Augustovski 2018-2019 coming from Latin America. To inherit the legacy he built, I believe it would be time for ISPOR again to elect a regional delegate with remarkable records for ISPOR become the President-Elect. A selection from the Asia Consortium would be one of the best decisions, considering the success of the Asia Consortium so far. At the same time, the excellence of the United States and European members must be further enhanced. One of my most important roles would be to work as an active liaison between the Western and the other regional constituencies based on my Asian background and world-wide experience.
Former ISPOR President Sean Sullivan declared, “We are making history,” at the first ISPOR Asia Pacific Conference in 2003. I respected his vision and since then have been dedicating my professional work to making history of ISPOR’s globalization, not just hosting the ISPOR First Asia-Pacific Conference, but also the ISPOR Asia Consortium.
I recognize a new voyage of ISPOR has already begun again for making a new era as the ISPOR Strategic Plan Update 2024 indicates. At my best, I would like to be a challenger to get the strategic plan “real” and to find the best solutions for healthcare in the world.