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Gov’t to promote discount of patent-expired drugs

  • October 28, 2019
  • , Nikkei , Lead story
  • JMH Translation

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare will create a mechanism to facilitate reduction in the fixed prices of pharmaceutical products whose patents have expired. The mechanism will cover drugs for which generic products with the same ingredients have gone on sale. The ministry plans to lower the fixed prices of originator drugs based on the medical service fee system when the rate of replacement with generic drugs reaches 80%. The prices of some originator drugs are more than 100% higher than those of generic drugs. The ministry aims to promote discounts [of originator drugs] in order to curb medical expenses. The mechanism may prompt the reorganization of smaller and midsize pharmaceutical companies that rely on revenues from originator drugs whose patents have expired. (Abridged)



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