Basic Principle for Drug Prices in Japan

In the article “薬価の基本|AnswersNews Plus (” released by AnswersNews on 07/06/2018, they explain the “YAKKA” (drug price) system in Japan, the official price of prescription drugs used in medical care. The price of drugs that are covered by public medical insurance is determined by the government (the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare), and pharmaceutical companies cannot freely determine the prices of drugs used in hospitals or clinics. The list that summarizes the official prices, known as the “YAKKA KIJUN” (price standard), plays the role of both a product catalog and a price list. Medical institutions and pharmacies bill patients for the cost of drugs prescribed or dispensed based on the official prices set by the price standard (Co-payment rate for a patient is basically 30%). A revision of the official prices called “YAKKA KAITEI” is conducted once every two years, usually in conjunction with the April revision of medical fee schedules.