The rising cost of healthcare is a global theme. As multinational pharmaceutical companies shift their focus from mature Western markets to the emerging Asian markets, it is vital to understand the challenges they may face in this region. Cost-containment is a key issue on the top of every government’s agenda as countries strive to expand health insurance and healthcare services to an increasing portion of their populations. Most of these countries have a relatively high level of pharmaceutical expenditure compared with other developed markets. Governments face immense pressure in sustaining a financially viable healthcare system.

In this report, we analyze the overall trends in the Asia-Pacific region and highlight which ones will have the greatest impact on cost savings. We also discuss the future trends in cost-containment and how they will affect the pharmaceutical industry.

Questions Answered in This Report:

  • The aging population in Japan and high population growth rate in India are some of the reasons that drive up demand for healthcare. What are the main drivers of cost-containment across the Asia-Pacific region, and how do governments cope with them to sustain a financially stable healthcare system?

  • Different governments use different cost-containment strategies, including health technology assessment, ad hoc and systemic price cuts, generics pricing, international reference pricing, and intellectual property. What are the main cost-containment trends in the Asia-Pacific region, and what impact it will they have on the pharmaceutical industry?

  • Some countries are controlling costs aggressively, while other countries do not have comprehensive cost-containment policies to contain healthcare expenditures. What lessons have we learned from current cost-containment trends, and how do we expect the market access and postmarketing environment in the Asia-Pacific region to evolve in the future?


Markets covered: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.

Topics covered: market access, health technology assessment, compulsory licenses, international reference pricing, price volume agreement.

Author(s): Michael Yeung, M.Sc.