Health ministry aims to expand Japan’s pharmaceutical industry


The health ministry has compiled an outline of its comprehensive strategy for the country’s pharmaceutical industry, underlining the need for discussions on an expansion of the industry through mergers and acquisitions.

In the outline released Monday, the ministry also said that it will consider raising government-set drug prices to facilitate the development of innovative drugs.

The outline said makers that have been failing to create new drugs should change their business lines. It urged them to promote the spread of low-cost generic drugs instead of depending heavily on off-patent drugs.

The government aims to increase the share of generic drugs in all drugs used in the country to 80 percent or more by fiscal 2020, against 46.9 percent for fiscal 2013.

On generic drugmakers, the outline said that they should be consolidated to strengthen their business foundations. It also underscored the need to consider lowering generic drug prices to reduce the public costs.