Japan MOF Calls for Cuts in Official Drug Prices

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Ministry of Finance on Tuesday called for government-set drug prices to be cut when an extraordinary price revision is carried out in fiscal 2019 that starts next April.

"It is necessary to reflect market prices in government-set drug prices," the ministry said in a set of proposals presented to a subcommittee of the Fiscal System Council on the day.

The MOF requested the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to study ways to lower drug prices to appropriate levels so that people will not feel too much pain from the planned consumption tax rate hike to 10 pct from the current 8 pct in October next year.

Price revisions are aimed at correcting the differences between the government-administered prices, or the prices of drugs charged to patients by hospitals and others, and market prices, at which the medical institutions purchase the drugs from wholesalers.

In the fiscal 2019 special revision, the government plans to add the consumption tax increase to drug prices. But overall prices are expected to go down because price declines resulting from fierce competition will also be taken into consideration.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press