Slowing economy to affect Japan’s pharmaceuticals spending: Fitch

It also said that the annual medicine price review will affect medicine’s market growth trajectory. 

The slowing economy will be a roadblock for the Japanese government in increasing its spending on pharmaceuticals, Fitch Solutions said, adding that the annual price review will affect the medicine market’s growth.

“The pricing and reimbursement system in the country remains tough. A slowing economy will further restrict the government’s ability to increase spending on pharmaceuticals.

It also said that the annual review of medicine prices will affect the commercial rewards for multinational drugmakers in Japan.

“Marking a departure from the traditional biennial price review, this will significantly weigh on the medicine market's growth trajectory,” Fitch said.

It cited a study by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America which stated that the sector’s sales in Japan, the world’s third-largest drug market, are estimated to fall by 30% to US$62b through 2025 with the annual price review.

Despite this, Fitch remains positive on its outlook for Japan’s pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, noting that the rapidly ageing population provides “considerable growth potential for innovation with the growing demand for chronic disease medicines.

Fitch also said that Japan’s regulatory regime is among the “most robust” globally. It added that the high level of urbanisation there means a high level of access to advanced healthcare facilities

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