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Contemporary generic market in Japan – key conditions to successful evolution


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  • Mihajlo B, Jakovljevic
  • Nakazono, S
  • Ogura, S
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    Japanese pharmaceutical market, world’s 2nd largest in size, is traditionally renowned for its brands’ domination and weakest generics share among major established economies. An in depth observation of published evidence in Japanese/English language provided closer insight into current trends in Japanese domestic legislation and pharmaceutical market development. Recent governmental interventions have resulted in significant expansion of generic medicines market size. Substantial savings due to generic substitution of brand name drugs have already been achieved and are likely to increase in future. Nationwide population aging threatening sustainable health care funding is contributing to the relevance of generic policy success. Serious long-term challenge to the modest Japanese generic manufacturing capacities will be posed by foreign pharmaceutical industries particularly the ones based in emerging BRIC economies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series CIS Discussion paper series with number 613.

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    Length: 34 p.
    Date of creation: Jan 2014
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hit:cisdps:613

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    Keywords: Japan; generic medicines; pharmaceuticals market; industry; health policy; patent protection; bioequivalence; attitudes; drug information; prescribing; dispensing;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


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    1. Toshiaki Iizuka, 2012. "Physician Agency and Adoption of Generic Pharmaceuticals," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2826-58, October.
    2. Iizuka, Toshiaki & Kubo, Kensuke, 2011. "The generic drug market in Japan: will it finally take off?," Health Economics, Policy and Law, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 369-389, June.
    3. Hudson, John, 2000. "Generic take-up in the pharmaceutical market following patent expiry: A multi-country study," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 205-221, June.
    4. Aoki, Reiko & Kubo, Kensuke & Yamane, Hiroko, 2006. "Indian Patent Policy and Publich Health : implications from the Japanese Experience," IDE Discussion Papers 57, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    5. Danzon, Patricia M & Chao, Li-Wei, 2000. "Does Regulation Drive out Competition in Pharmaceutical Markets?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 311-57, October.
    6. Seiritsu Ogura & Toshiaki Tachibanaki & David A. Wise, 2001. "Aging Issues in the United States and Japan," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ogur01-1, May.
    7. Garattini, Livio & Tediosi, Fabrizio, 2000. "A comparative analysis of generics markets in five European countries," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 149-162, April.
    8. Panos Kanavos & Joan Costa-Font & Elizabeth Seeley, 2008. "Competition in off-patent drug markets: Issues, regulation and evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 23, pages 499-544, 07.
    9. Kobayashi, Eriko & Karigome, Hiroshi & Sakurada, Tomoya & Satoh, Nobunori & Ueda, Shiro, 2011. "Patients' attitudes towards generic drug substitution in Japan," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 60-65, January.
    10. Toshiaki Iizuka, 2007. "Experts' agency problems: evidence from the prescription drug market in Japan," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(3), pages 844-862, 09.
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