Shifts to generics to cut FY17 medical costs by ¥1.3 trillion

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Switching to generic drugs from brand-name drugs for which patents have expired is estimated to lower Japan’s total medical costs by ¥1,299.1 billion in fiscal 2017, the health ministry said Monday.

The reduction is some 40 percent larger than the previous estimate for fiscal 2015 and is the biggest ever.

The government aims to raise the share of generic drugs to 80 percent or more by September 2020, based on a projection that about ¥1.3 trillion in medical costs could be saved a year if the target is met.

The estimate for the fiscal year ending this month shows that the government has almost achieved the objective.

As of the end of September last year, the share of generic drugs stood at 65.8 percent.Speech

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