Japan Considers Establishing Drug Supply Chain Reporting Mandate

Alarmed by increasing blockages in the supply chain of prescription drugs, the Japanese government is considering requiring manufacturers to alert the government to anticipated shortages of their products.

Such a mandate, floated in recent interviews by health officials, would require passing legislation. No such bill is in the pipeline as of yet.

But as shortages of some much-needed prescription drugs have become increasingly apparent, so has concern, particularly at the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW), where the idea of imposing such a mandate is under discussion. In the United States, pharmaceutical companies are required to report to the government any instabilities they anticipate in their supply chain. They must also notify the government if they suspend or discontinue the manufacture of several classes of drugs, including those used for emergency care.