TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry plans to tighten the criteria for allowing the prices of new drugs to be kept at high levels for a certain period of time, in order to limit the scope of drugs covered, informed sources said Friday.This will be part of the ministry’s planned reform of the system in which prescription drug prices are set by the government.
The ministry will shortly present a draft of the reform to the Central Social Insurance Medical Council, which advises the health minister, in the hope of reaching a conclusion late this year.
The criteria were introduced in fiscal 2010. At present, almost all new drugs are judged to meet the criteria regardless of the level of their innovativeness, increasing financial burdens on health insurance programs in the country.
Through the coming review, the ministry hopes to limit drugs that are allowed to be priced at high levels for a certain period to those that are innovative and for rare diseases, the sources said.