As medical costs mount, Japan to weigh cost-effectiveness in setting drug prices - (NASDAQ via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Japan is evaluating a proposal by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic council that would consider cost-effectiveness in determining whether to approve drugs, as reported NASDAQ Tuesday.

  • "For cancer patients like us, it's not acceptable if the government applies a cost-effective analysis in determining whether to approve treatments," said Rare Cancers Japan director Yoshiyuki Majima.

  • "It is obvious that Japan will face difficulties in providing social security service," remarked a government official involved in the discussions, adding "te cost-effectiveness analysis is a means to secure sustainability."

  • Under the system that will be adopted in April, cost-effectiveness will be assessed using an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER), as utilised in other countries such as the UK.

  • "If I have rheumatoid arthritis and I can't write or type, but then I get a treatment that enables me to go back to work, pay taxes, and take care of my family, that benefit is not going to be captured by the ICER," contended Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Kevin Haninger.

  • Japan previously instituted large price cuts for Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceutical's cancer drug Opdivo and Gilead Sciences' hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi.

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