Japan steps to address medical supply shortages may include pharmaceutical price controls

In the wake of a 2019 antibiotic shortage which cast light on the country’s dependence on overseas suppliers of the essential drugs, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is proposing a series of measures to ensure stability in its supplies of key medicines in the future. Among the steps are the creation of a key medicine list, mapping of supply chains, and controls on pricing.

With more than 550 drug products under consideration for inclusion on the list, much work remains to winnow down the final selection of key drugs widely used in clinical practices and deemed medically essential. Future meetings will continue to hone the Ministry’s action plan.