Trump's Fight Against Drug Prices Sparks Japan's Interest
Skyrocketing costs of medications are a driving force in the overall landscape of exorbitant healthcare costs. This is good for those pharma companies supplying these medications but with Trump in the Whitehouse,this may change. The Japanese people are following Trump’s lead and are now trying to push through his planin their country.
The Japanese people spend approximately $90 billion a year on medication. Japan’s government created the healthcaresystem and it is now one of the leading pushers in medication pricing. Around 40% of Japan’snational spending goes directly to healthcare and all of this spending is done through the national insurance schemedesigned by the government. A review board for healthcare costs was recently appointed in Japan and they meet quarterly to discussmedical and medicinal pricing.
One of the biggest cancer drugs used in Japan, Opdivo, had its prices cut in half due to a review by the oversight board. Pharma industries in Japan fear this is the end of the golden calf. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, an advocacy group for public policies that encourage the discovery of new medications, conducted a study in Japan and it shows an estimated 30% decrease in pricingby 2025. Japan has the third-largest drug market in the world and this means the national consortium of pharma companies would be losing out on a potential $30 billion profit a year.
While this is great news for those that are in need of cheapermedications, it could pose an overall negative result for the people of Japan. Many pharma companies may look for greener pastures to develop and distribute their products. This will very likely mean less funding for research and development of newer medications. Japanese citizens may have to wait twice as long, than other countries around the world, to receive new medications. The people of Japan may simply have to wait for the newest drugs and their patents to expire and then they will have access to the generic version.
Trump has taken notice of Japan’s implementation of his plan to lower drug costs. He now has his eyes set ona path to create more affordable healthcare and prescription costs throughout the USA. Trump and Japan are not the only entities that have been critical of rising drug costs. Bernie Sanders and other countries, such as China, have taken up issue with this as well.The people of America may see a change in quality of life, cost of drugs, and the overall healthcare system.Pushing for cost control, much like Japan has done,may mean a change in the way pharma companies do business with these countries. If Trump adopts changes, the prices will go down but access to new medications might be harder to grasp. Time will only tell if the end result will be for better or worse.