Health minister to consider U.S. drug firms’ views in pricing overhaul | Japan Today

“We will thrash out a drastic revision by the year-end, while hearing opinions of interested parties through Central Social Insurance Medical Council.”

The council is an expert panel that advises the ministry and canvasses the views of industry representatives.

Japan wants to cut healthcare costs and drug prices even if this provokes opposition from U.S. drug firms and lobby groups in Washington over the prospect of eroding profits.

Kato, a close aide of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, declined to comment on reports that the premier will call an election next month and delay the timetable for fiscal reform to boost education spending.

Last December, Japan said it would review official drug pricing every year, instead of every two years, and widen the review to all prescription drugs, following drastic price cuts for two blockbuster drugs, among them cancer drug Opdivo.

The United States has urged Japan to reassess its system of drug pricing set by the government, for fear it could lead to price cuts on new, expensive drugs.

“We need to respond to overall fiscal consolidation,” Kato added. “On the other hand, we also need to meet people’s demand for measures to cope with an aging society.”

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Health minister to consider U.S. drug firms’ views in pricing overhaul – Japan Today.