On April 1, 2023, new drug prices will take effect in Japan. While price reductions have historically been every two years, recently, new price lists have been announced each year or during so-called “off years”. If the difference between the National Health Insurance price and the market price exceeds 4.375%. There will be a drug price cut, and this year the cut will average about 8%.
About 18,000 drug prices will be slashed including about 11,000 oral drugs, 400 injectable drugs, 2,400 topical agents, and 25 dental medicines. This revision is expected to cover about 70% of the outstanding drugs in Japan. For unique or innovative drugs, a price maintenance premium (PMP) helps to keep prices very close to their original levels. About 600 drugs were eligible for PMP, and about 90 of these drugs maintained their prices, with about 150 drugs receiving additional price increases. The MHLW also increased the price for about 1,100 unprofitable drugs that Japan considers essential. For years, the pharmaceutical associations in Japan, the EU, and the US have complained about Japan’s drug pricing reductions.