Japan - Reporter points to collusion in the drug industry

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According to an OCED survey, Japanese annual per capita outlays for medications came to $556, putting the country in 9th place. The U.S. per capita figure, by contrast, is $947. But as medical journalist Hayanari Ito writes in the March issue of Sapio, there’s a lot more to be said on the subject than mere outlays.

For one thing, despite the scheduled increase in the consumption tax from 5% to 8% from April 1, the government has instructed drug prices to be revised downward by 1.36%. 

Nevertheless there are few reasons to rejoice. While generic drug formulations in the U.S. or Europe can be obtained for as low as 7 to 9% of the predecessors’ prices, in Japan, the powerful Central Social Insurance Medical Council (Chuikyo for short) maintains the prices at an artificially high 70%. While pressure from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare finally obtained a concession to drop this figure to 60%, they are still far too high. According to one survey by a research group at the University of Tokyo, the average prices of 77 medications in Japan were approximately double those of the UK and France, and 1.5 times higher than those of Germany.

Full Story:  http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/reporter-denounces-cozy-collusion-in-the-drug-industry?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2014-02-17_PM

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