Popping Pills in Japan – 2nd Largest Pharma Market

Japan loves to pill popJAPAN – 2nd Largest Pharma Market

By Nitesh Bhele

Japan is the 2nd largest Pharmaceutical & biotechnology market in the world after the United States. Japan accounts for around 10 percent of the global pharma market, compared with 39 percent for the U.S. and 21 percent for Western Europe approximately. The pharmaceutical market has size around $ 150 billion, where biotechnology market value of Japan is projected to sharply increase reaching $100 billion by 2020. The Japan government recognized the big demand on this sector and realized the need of having a national strategy for Pharmaceutical & biotechnology development. Number of plans based on the Biotechnology Strategy Guidelines have been implemented since last few years.

Currently, Japan still lags behind the U.S. in this sector but it is taking a lead in the field of gene analysis, genetic recombination, bioinformatics and others. With the great effort of the government by providing substantial resources to this sector, biotechnology is expected to become a major sector. Furthermore, The Industrial Cluster Plan Policy is one of the efforts of the government to strengthen the capabilities of the defined regional cluster areas to develop new technologies and product. Among the 17 projects, 8 of them are focused on the biotechnology industries. Moreover, Japan has a much lower penetration of generics compared to most of the major markets which is advantageous for the big pharma.

In Japan, every citizen has to participate in the insurance program managed by Government of Japan National Health Insurance (NHI).  National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme as well as the majority of health care spending is publically funded. The government is taking number of initiatives to control spending, such as encouraging use of cheaper generic drugs, self-management of chronic diseases, and preventive care. A biennial NHI pricing review usually results in price reductions. This also is one of the most significant challenges faced by pharmaceutical companies in the Japanese market is the practice of biennial price cuts. Overall, the average cut of 5.64% will be applied on a drug price basis in the 2014 price revisions similar to the price cut of 6% applied in the 2012 price revisions. Market expansion based re-pricing rules as well as the special additional price cut being implemented this year on products for which the first generic was approved five years ago and have less than 20% generic replacement rate by volume will hamper the growth of the domestic pharmaceutical industry In addition, a new health technology assessment (HTA), expected to be implemented in 2016, could make it more difficult for life sciences companies to obtain competitive launch pricing and market access unless the new treatment is deemed innovative and cost-effective. Also, while the use of cost-saving generic drugs has been proportionally lower in Japan than in other developed markets, the government has strengthened the incentives for healthcare providers to prescribe generics. The new drug development premium awarded to innovative products shields the products from biennial National Health Insurance (NHI) price reductions during their patent protection period. This premium will enable patented branded products in its market expansion. During the 2014 NHI price revisions, 397 active ingredients (758 products) have been granted the exemption, over and above the 367 active ingredients considered for the treatment in the 2012 revision.

(All statements made in this video/article does not reflect our personal interest or belief about pharmaceuticals here at Nihon Scope)

Takeda Pharmaceutical, Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company and Asia and a top 15 pharmaceutical company. The company has over 30,000 employees worldwide, looks likely to increase its global footprint merger & acquisition done by it all over world. Otsuka’s $3.5bn acquisition of California-based neurologic disease specialist Avanir Pharmaceuticals in December 2014 is an even more potent demonstration of Japanese companies’ greater focus on global M&A.

Indeed, generic manufacturers from around the world – but especially generic specialists such as India – are looking to Japan as a source of future expansion. According to the Economic Times, Indian generics giants including Dr Reddy’s, Lupin, Sun Pharma and Glenmark are exploring options for tapping into the growing Japanese generics market.

Active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and generic finished dose suppliers who recognize this growth potential and understand the specific needs and challenges unique to the Japanese market stand to see significant earnings in this region over the coming years. The global Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Market is expected to reach USD 205.51 billion by 2020 from USD 150 billion in 2015, at a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period .The active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) market in Asia is growing at an increasingly rapid pace. From 2007 to 2011, it went from 24.5 to 28.5 percent of the world market. From now through 2017, it should expand at a rate of 8.2 percent annually. This puts Asia’s API market worth $33 billion currently at more than $50 billion by 2017.

Japan has long led the rest of Asia in demand for APIs. In 2012, the market for APIs in Japan was the largest in Asia, at $15.5 billion. Many foreign API firms from India, Europe and the US are actively selling their APIs on the Japanese market. Japan’s share of innovator APIs is high, and demand is growing especially in the biotech drug sector. But API generics are also starting to gain ground in Japan. Chinese and Indian firms have recently flooded Japan’s market with inexpensive APIs. The accompanying price competition has forced some Japanese API manufacturers out of their own domestic market. An increasing number of foreign pharmaceutical companies are selling APIs on the Japanese market. Sometimes they sell to domestic drug manufacturers and sometimes they sell to foreign drug companies manufacturing products in Japan.

In April 2013, India’s Dishman Pharmaceuticals and Chemicals announced the company was on track to post an almost fivefold growth in revenue for APIs sold in Japan through the end of 2013. Revenue from Japanese sales reached $2 million in 2012, and 2013 revenue is expected to increase to $10 million. The company currently supplies APIs to more than 10 Japanese companies. In February 2012, Pfizer Japan launched two new APIs in Japan. One was part of the diabetes treatment glimepiride (Amaryl), while another was part of the antiarrhythmic agent pilsicainide (Sunrythum). Aside from these two APIs, Pfizer Japan launched another 16 APIs in Japan in 2012. If foreign API manufacturers pay attention to the Japanese API market, they will find excellent sales opportunities, especially in the innovative and generic API segments. Key market players Teva Pharmaceuticals limited (Israel), Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Limited (India), Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. (India), Aurobindo (India), Novartis International AG (Switzerland), Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany), Albemarle Corporation (U.S.), Sigma Aldrich (U.S.), Mylan (U.K.), Allergan plc. (Ireland). Stakeholders include Manufacturers of API Distributors and Suppliers of APIs, Potential Investors in the API Market, Pharmaceutical Companies, Biotechnology Companies, Contract Manufacturing Organizations and Healthcare Payers

According to Catenion’s , pharmaceutical industry of Japan faces two fundamental problems for which it has not yet found an answer; these problems are firstly, an inadequate approach to managing innovation and secondly, a profound misunderstanding of the nature of risk and consequently poor risk management. The industry’s poor innovation track record is shown by the statistics of drug approvals by the FDA. There has been a long-term trend of a decrease in the number of NCEs and NBEs despite rapidly increasing R&D budgets. A recent study by Czerepak and Ryser published in Nature Drug Discovery shows that for the period between January 2006 and December 2007, barely 35% of the drugs approved by the FDA originated in the pharmaceutical industry. Less than half of these qualified for the label “novel drug and new chemical structure”.

Industry critics have used statistics such as these to argue that Big Pharma is shying away from true innovation and pursuing mostly me-too projects. A quick look at company pipelines shows this to be a wrong conclusion. There is an abundance of exciting, highly innovative projects and risky science going on at most companies. While some industry observers and investors continue to hope there might be an innovation backlog in the wake of unprecedented progress in molecular biology, disease understanding, lab technologies and novel drug formats, others are more pessimistic.

Turning to the second issue, Catenion have identified, the pharmaceutical business is a risky business par excellence but the nature of risk is often not fully appreciated by operators. Of course pharmaceutical executives know the scientific, technical, regulatory and commercial risks of their business. They spend a lot of their time devising and executing risk mitigation activities for these risks at the operational level. The argument we wish to make here is that there is too little awareness that risk must be managed properly at the strategic level as well. Such strategic risk management requires more sophisticated methods than those generally used in the industry today. There are three major points to our argument, covering the nature of risk itself, correlated risk in the R&D pipeline and the degree of risk diversification at the corporate level.


(All statements made in this video/article does not reflect our personal interest or belief about pharmaceuticals here at Nihon Scope)

Lupin is the only Indian pharma company to have a presence in the Japanese generic market from which it currently earns about 12% of annual revenue. Till date, Lupin Ltd has made two buyouts in Japan: Tokyo-based I’rom Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd in 2011 and Kyowa Pharmaceutical Industry Co. Ltd in 2007. Sun Pharma, which acquired Ranbaxy Ltd for $4 billion last year, also plans to raise up to Rs.12,000 crore through convertible debentures or a qualified institutional placement (QIP) for expansion and acquisitions. Japan, where drug sales were estimated at $115 billion in 2013, accounts for nearly 10% of the global pharma market according to a 2014 Deloitte report. The growth will mainly come from higher generic penetration. The government is keen to have a larger generic share to reduce their healthcare costs. An ageing population and mounting health costs have prompted the Japanese government to try and increase the presence of generic drug makers, bringing the Japanese market under the radar of Indian pharmaceutical companies.

According to Deloitte report, Japan’s rapidly ageing population just over a quarter of the population was aged 65+ in 2013, up from 12% in 1990, and accounting for over 50% of the country’s healthcare costs is expected to drive demand for pharmaceuticals in 2014-2018.The state-funded National Health Insurance scheme covers every citizen in Japan. In 2010, as part of efforts to increase the generic penetration, the government launched a series of reforms targeting 30% of the drug market by 2014 and 60% by 2017, from 18% in 2010.

Besides the reported move by Sun Pharma, other Indian generics makers, including Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd, are exploring options for entering Japanese generics market with their formulation drugs.

By Nitesh Bhele, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Marketer

Full article here – Page No 60
http://saffronmedia.in/eMagazin…/…/ISAApr01152016/index.html

Is It Really Illegal to be Fat in Japan?

Illegal Fat People in Japan?Is Being Fat in Japan Really Illegal?

(I’ve been informed that it’s not a law to get measured once a year – please scroll this forum to learn more – below is the original article)

So what exactly is this fat tax everyone is talking about from Japan? Is it real? Is it really illegal to be fat in Japan? Well, first off, yes it is real, there is a sort of ‘fat’ tax that is applied for those over a certain BMI/waistline in Japan (85 cm for men and 90 cm for women). But you’ll never see anyone actually arrested for being fat… Fined, absolutely, but not the individual themselves, companies are the ones who take the hit. Japan requires it’s citizens between 40 and 74 years of age to get their BMI/waistlines measured once a year, and if need be seek medical attention and counseling.

It's possible to learn Japanese while watching your favorite anime

The law is actually called (get ready for it):

“Standard Concerning Implementation Special Health Examination
and …
Special Public Health Guidance”

Otherwise known as ‘Metabo’ law, started in 2008 to combat ‘metabolic syndrome” and to curb the country’s overweight population by at least 25% by 2015. So with that said, has it worked? It has actually, it’s dropped the obese rate of Japanese people by 1% since it started.  So Japan put out all the stops to help curb any excess fat that they can from society.

But already Japan has a few things going for them that Americans simply don’t. First Japanese people already eat a diet full of fish, vegetables and rice, whereas Americans literally are loading up on ultra-processed foods 50% of the time! Second is that Japanese people by default end up having to walk much more then Americans, and are encouraged to do so. Americans simply for the most part do not have the ability to leave their house and walk into a city as many Americans live on the out skirts of cities.

Thin Japanese Family Eating Together

Then third the Japanese now have the Metabo law to help reinforce and help curb what they consider an epidemic of fatness! Americans, have nothing of the sort, and honestly it would be unconstitutional to do so. Instead America would be best to keep teaching individuals how to eat and what to avoid, because half of their food being eaten is absolutely trash.

So what do the stats looks like for overweight people in Japan, and did they really need to implement this law? Well the answer shouldn’t surprise you, but here are some numbers and a few facts regarding overweight people Japan vs America.

Obese American Family In Front of TV

Only 3.6 percent of Japanese people have a body mass index (BMI) over 30 (which I now believe is 3.1 percent), which is the international standard for obesity, whereas 35.7 percent of Americans do. A total of 33.1 percent of Americans have a BMI over 25 (discounting those in the obese category), making them overweight, but only 21.1 percent of Japanese make the grade to be considered overweight (discounting those in the obese category)!


Lets look at this in the raw numbers to see how absolutely insane this really is:

Obese Japanese People: 4,500,000
Obese American People: 101,000,000!

Overweight Japanese People: 31,000,000
Overweight American People: 105,250,000

Total overweight and obese:

Total in Japan: 31,100,000
Total in America: 218,750,000

So I’d say Japan is doing something right when you compare it to America right? But let’s be fair and look at the numbers if they were to have the same amount of people, but let’s look at it if America had as many people as Japan.

Total in Japan: 31,100,000
Total in America (same pop. as Japan): 86,668,000

In this made up chart America would still have over 50,000,000 more people that are overweight. This would also mean that out of the 126,000,000 people only about 45,000,000 would be healthy which is about 1/3 of the population.


Japanese Population: 126,000,000
American Population: 318,000,000 – (Feb 9th 2017)


So as you know the law is not coming to take you to jail if you’re too fat in Japan, they’re not going to come slap handcuffs on you or force you into fat camp. Although you will be required to see a counselor and a dietician to help you curve that hefty waistline, that is if you even show up for your appointment.

So, is that it? You pretty much just get a slap on the wrist and a bit of mandatory counseling? Well, yes and no. The biggest effects from this law stem from companies who employee bigger people. The big punishments are really being felt by the companies of Japan. If they find ANY of their employees are big boned and over the limit they can be fined a fair sum of money until everyone has a come to Jesus meeting and gets a grip and slims down. Companies actually hand out ‘Metabo’ towels that have a measurement stitched into the towel so you can see if you’re gaining weight or if you’re losing it. Otherwise to basically help you remember that if you’re overweight your a burden on the companies well-being.

One fine a company was said to pay was upwards of $19,000,000 dollars! This is why you will see companies doing a set of work outs in the morning before they start work. 30 minutes of stretching they say help keep everyone a bit more fit, and they also found that it keeps their employees more focused on their tasks. But not everything is as it seems, this program that seems to have well intentions (which I agree to a point), doesn’t have everyone’s best interests. Because of this, people that are bigger are shunned and made fun of and verbally abused, and this attitude also leeches into the public and private lives as well, but besides the emotional and societal backlash, did Japan really need to enact this law?

Large American Couple Eating Poorly Chosen FoodsA professor at Tokai college School of Medicine, Yoichi Ogushi said that there really is no need for Japanese people to lose weight.  Yoichi Ogushi was noted saying that he does not think it will have any positive long lasting effect. He also said something like the Metabo law would work best in areas like the USA or Australia and other places that actually HAVE a weight problem. At this moment he said the Japanese people are too slender and they can’t afford to lose weight.

But on the other hand the president of the Health Policy Institute of Japan, James Kondo, believes that this law is a positive thing. He claims that the check up every years increases the public’s awareness of the health challenges that come with obesity and the metabolic syndrome.  Okay well if you agree with it or not it’s something that Japan is really doing. But there are a few criticisms and flaws of this policy that should be pointed out:

  1. The measurements done around the waist do not always give an accurate measurement of persons body fat.
  2. The law totally avoids childhood obesity, which is where most weight challenges occur in life.
  3. Companies discriminate against people who are a tiny bit overweight or not overweight at all, thinking they could become over weight
  4. Less than 50% of the people attend the required checkups
  5. Of those who do that are found to go and have a weight issue, only about 12% of the people who received counseling even took the advice or even acted on it.

So, there’s that…

But the more I researched this subject the more I ran into a lot of research showing that men, women but mostly girls are taking this to the next level and basically starving themselves. More and more eating disorders are taking place in Japan and Metabo law has certainly not helped curb this growing challenge that is taking place in Japan. There is even stories I’m reading about where children are indoctrinated into believing eating too much can turn you into a pig, and it’s seen as heroic to not eat!

Well, perhaps at one point in Japanese history when food was a scarce thing, these kind of stories came up, and then they just got pass on down from generation to generation. But these children stories are not doing anyone any good. So there could be much more research into how deep this really goes, because as already mentioned, why not tackle childhood obesity too? Well many believe and I tend to also bend towards the idea that big pharmaceutical companies have a play in this role in this Metabo law decision. Japan has the 2nd largest pharmaceutical market in the world.

With that said the profits between 2008 a year before Metabo and 2012 show a drastic increase.

Better Ways to Learn Japanese Fluently

To end this endless rabbit hole of questions and points of view about this Metabo law, there was a question I had about this. What about sumo wrestlers? Are they stuck with the same law as everyone else? And the answer is, YES! They are stuck with having to give up the gut as there time arrives when they turn 40. But it’s also interesting to note that the oldest wrestler to win a top division sumo championship was 37 years of age (Kyokutenho Masaru). So the vast majority of these wrestlers will never have to worry about it. But, I wonder though about those who have to work hard to get themselves below the thresholds of the Metabo law in time, when for most of their lives they’ve been commended for being a big fat wrestler.

-NihonScope

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/03/less-than-3-percent-of-americans-live-a-healthy-lifestyle/475065/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_tax
http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/metabolaw.asp
https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/why-eating-disorders-are-on-the-rise-in-japan

lol -エルオーエル- / bye bye

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