Decision Resources, Inc., one of the world's leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that Japan has proposed only modest changes to its pharmaceutical pricing mechanism for 2008 and beyond. The changes reflect the Japanese government's focus on containing healthcare spending.
The most recent proposals do allow for an increase in premiums that can be awarded. For innovative drugs, the premium range will be increased.
"To qualify for this premium in Japan, a product must have clinically useful new mechanisms of action, must be proven to have greater efficacy or improved safety and must demonstrate resultant, improved management of the target indication," said Stuart Bowman, director at Decision Resources. "However, this premium is rarely awarded given the stringent, and less than transparent, qualifying criteria."
The 2008 changes also herald the next round of biannual price cuts. There will likely be extraordinary price cuts for big-selling products, specifically products for which sales have significantly exceeded original (official) sales projections. Likely targets will be angiotensin II antagonists and SSRIs.
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