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Growth is expected for the generic drugs and biosimilars sectors, driven by cost pressures on healthcare systems.
According to a new report from CPhI, 2018 will be a transformative year for the pharmaceutical market in Japan. The report was release ahead of CPhI Japan, which is set to take place on April 18–20, 2018 at the Big Sight Exhibition Centre, Tokyo, Japan.
Growth is expected for the generic drugs and biosimilars sectors, driven by cost pressures on healthcare systems. In a survey, 59% of domestic respondents believe that biosimilars will be the fastest growing sector. International companies are looking for opportunities to penetrate the local pharmaceutical market, but most believe that having a Japanese partner is key to overcoming obstacles such as brand loyalty and the lack of local knowledge. There could even be acquisitions in the medium term.
In an inaugural study of the perceptions of 500 pharmaceutical companies, Japan was among the top three countries in terms of reputation ranking. Japan was seen to have a higher growth potential than most European countries in the league, falling third behind Germany (first) and the United States (second). Japan also scored positively in “overall competitiveness.”
Results from the survey, however, revealed some differences in opinion between international and domestic respondents. One major difference is that domestic respondents believe that the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) has made effective strides in tackling the drug approval backlog, while international respondents largely disagree.
Nonetheless, Japan is an attractive market for global businesses since it joined PIC/S in 2014 and made efforts to synchronized manufacturing and quality control standards between oversea suppliers and domestic manufacturers, which have, as a result, accelerated market entry of international companies. In fact, 95% of international respondent were positive when asked about their intentions to work with Japanese partners.