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Japan plans to increase generics use Posted 09/06/2017

Japan is currently the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market. Prescription brand-name drugs dominate the market and generics constitute only around 56% of total sales. However, the Japanese Government wants to change that.

Japan will bring forward a target to boost the use of generics by six months to September 2020. The government intends to expand the scope of drug price reviews in order to boost the use of generics to around 80%. This it hopes will reduce healthcare expenditure due to its rapidly ageing population and save the government hundreds of billions of yen per year.

A combination of major drug patent expiries and wide-ranging government initiatives to reduce healthcare spending are making the generics sector in Japan increasingly attractive. Back in 2010, the country only had a generics market penetration of around 8% [1].

The government is expected to set the target in June 2017 as part of its annual key economic and fiscal policy guidelines. This is just the latest in a long line of policies and actions by the Japanese Government to reign in drug expenses. In December 2016, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare also brought in changes allowing it to review drug prices annually instead of once every two years, based on the difference between the actual market price and the official price.

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1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Japan’s generics sector set to grow [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2017 Jun 9]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Generics/General/Japan-s-generics-sector-set-to-grow

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Source: Reuters

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