Value through Innovation17 April 2014


Map of Japan

Japan is an island nation in East Asia. A major economic power, Japan has the world's third-largest economy by nominal GDP and fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity.

It is also the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer.

Facts & Figures

Pharmaceutical business environment - Growing demand for drugs due to high life expectancy and an aging population.
- Over 30 % of all people in Japan are over 60 years old.
- High prevalence of various types of cancer will also lead to increased demand for innovative drugs.
Size - Japan is currently the second-largest pharmaceuticals market in the world (USD 107 billion sales in 2010).
Future development - 20 million Japanese people already suffer from or are at risk of diabetes; demand for related drugs is set to rise.
- Debate as to whether a premium for development of new drugs and the abolition of off-label use of drugs will be permanently introduced in 2012.
Problems - Long delays at the regulatory agency, the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA), for companies wishing to obtain drug approval and market access in Japan. Drugs typically launch three to four years after launch in the EU and US.
- Language barrier: all regulatory documents have to be translated into the native language.
The market for prescription medicines and self-medication in Japan - The world’s second-largest market for prescription medicines with sales of USD 96 billion.
- To reduce state healthcare spending, generics are to make up 30 % of the entire prescription medicines market by March 2012.