Japan ponders regulating prices of regenerative medicines

Eager to more tightly control costs to consumers of emerging medical therapies, Japanese authorities are discussing implementing rules to regulate prices on  regenerative medicine products

At a February 20, 2019 meeting of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW), officials for the first-time discussed implementing price rules on the products, which create living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects.

The products, which include tissue engineering, cellular therapies, medical devices and artificial organs, have not to date been specifically subject to Japan’s strict pricing rules, by which the government reimburses medical providers for pharmaceuticals at prescribed rates, effectively setting wholesale retail prices. Details of the proposal have yet to emerge.