According to the news article “2022年度の国内医薬品市場、過去最高の10.97兆円…前年度比2.6%増、コロナ薬・診断薬伸びる | AnswersNews (ten-navi.com)” released by AnswersNews on June 1st, 2023, IQVIA announced that the pharmaceutical market in Japan reached a record high in the fiscal year 2022, with a 2.6% increase from the previous year, totaling 10 trillion and 969 billion yen (approximately 80 billion USD at the current exchange rate). The demand for therapeutics and diagnostics for the treatment of COVID-19 contributed to this growth. Ono Pharmaceutical’s immune checkpoint inhibitor drug, “Opdivo,” remained at the top for the second consecutive year in product sales. All three market segments, including hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies, experienced growth. Among therapeutic categories, “anti-tumor agents” generated the highest revenue. The COVID-19 pandemic also led to a significant increase in demand for diagnostic test reagents, propelling them to the top 10 therapeutic categories. From January to March 2023, the market recorded a 1.3% increase, reaching 2 trillion and 591 million yen (approximately 20 billion USD), while diagnostic test reagents experienced a substantial decrease. In terms of product sales, “Opdivo” maintained its top position, followed by “Keytruda” and “Eliquis.” Among the pharmaceutical companies, Chugai Pharmaceutical retained its leading position, followed by Takeda Pharmaceutical and AstraZeneca.
As explained in the article, “バイオシミラー｜AnswersNews Plus (ten-navi.com)” released by AnswersNews on November 21, 2018, a biosimilar is a drug with the same quality, safety, and efficacy as a reference biopharmaceutical product. It is developed by a different company (not the company that is marketing the originator) after the patent for the reference product has expired. To demonstrate clinical equivalence and similarity to the reference product, clinical trials enrolling actual patients are required even if the development process of biosimilars is not equivalent to that of the reference product. The price of a biosimilar is typically higher than that of a typical generic product due to the high costs associated with development and manufacturing. However, it is typically 70% of the price of the reference biopharmaceutical product. For subsequent biosimilars, the price tends to be proportional to the price of biosimilars already on the market. And also, current updates on government policy indicate a supportive trend for biosimilars.
As described in the article “先駆け審査指定制度｜AnswersNews Plus (ten-navi.com)” released by AnswersNews on 15/03/2019, the SAKIGAKE designation system is a program that grants preferential treatment to innovative products such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, regenerative medicine products, and in vitro diagnostic drugs that are applied for approval in Japan for the first time in the world. This system shortens the standard 12-month approval period to 6 months for designated products. To be designated as a target product, it is necessary to demonstrate the ground-breaking nature of the product, the severity of the targeted disease, extremely high efficacy, and an intention to develop and apply early in Japan. The SAKIGAKE designation system provides preferential measures such as advancing the approval review process, prioritizing review, consultation on development progress management, and extending re-examination periods. In addition, a “SAKIGAKE designation system addition” is added to the drug price of target products as a premium, which serves as an incentive for drug development.
In the article “薬価の基本｜AnswersNews Plus (ten-navi.com)” 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.
Tim Dietlin Joins the Company as CEO
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Validant Group, a leading international quality, compliance, and regulatory consulting firm, today announces that Tim Dietlin has joined the company in the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
“Tim brings a unique skill set to his role as CEO of the Validant Group. His deep understanding of the life sciences industry, coupled with his business effectiveness and leadership advisory experience, allows Tim to build transformative teams that drive growth and attain long-term success,” said Alistair Macdonald, Chair of the Validant Group Board of Directors and Operating Partner, GHO Capital.
Tim Dietlin brings more than 25 years of leadership experience to his role as CEO of the Validant Group. Most recently, Tim served for eight years as the Global Managing Partner of the Healthcare and Life Sciences Practice at Heidrick & Struggles, a leading global executive search and management consulting firm. In this role, Tim led all aspects of the practice’s healthcare and life sciences business and specialized in providing leadership advisory services to a broad portfolio of clients, including established pharmaceutical companies, emerging high-growth biotechnology firms, and investor backed service and technology companies.
Tim’s extensive experience includes leadership roles at IBM, where he led the life sciences strategy and transformation consulting practice; INC Research, where he served as Senior Vice President of Global Consulting and Strategic Alliances; and Campbell Alliance, a life sciences management consulting firm, where Tim led the firm’s Research and Development and Medical Affairs consulting practices.
“The Validant Group has built a strong foundation as a leader in the life sciences industry. By uniting this already powerful partnership of companies, and capitalizing on our collective capabilities, we will unlock the full potential of our business,” said Tim Dietlin, Validant Group CEO. “Together, the Validant Group will deliver a full-service platform that provides unmatched regulatory clarity at every phase of the product life cycle. I look forward to cultivating and continuing to grow a united Validant Group that is stronger together and positioned for success.”
May 15, 2023
ABOUT THE VALIDANT GROUP
The Validant Group is a global, full-service life science consulting company focused on managing and resolving complex regulatory issues. The Validant Group is comprised of five companies offering collaborative consultancy services:
The 2023 revision of drug prices in Japan has been announced,
with 600 drugs being eligible for the price maintenance premium (PMP) and 1,100 drugs eligible for the unprofitable drug reassessment. The PMP will provide an additional 0.1% to 1.0% premium for the first three years of sale for drugs that meet certain criteria, such as those that have been approved for the first time in Japan or that have a significant therapeutic effect. Meanwhile, there assessment of unprofitable products aims to reduce the gap between drug prices in Japan and those in other countries. For products that have not been profitable for three years or more, the government will calculate the costs of manufacturing, distribution, and sales, and adjust the price accordingly. This re-evaluation is expected to increase the prices by an average of 2.7%. This revision aims to support companies developing new drugs and improve the financial standing of companies involved in the manufacturing of unprofitable drugs. Cancer and rare disease drugs are expected to be the main focus, with their prices increase.
Overall, the revision aims to ensure the sustainability of Japan’s healthcare system by promoting the development of innovative drugs while also addressing issues of affordability and access to healthcare options.
Sanofi’s LIBTAYO, Cemiplimab IV, was approved in December 2022
based on results of global Ph 3 EMPOWER-Cervical 1 study, of which duration was around 6 years. This is the 3rd approval for PD-1 inhibitor in Japan following Opdivo and Keytruda. It was approved to treat patients with advanced or recurrent cervical cancer whose diseases progressed after chemotherapy, and that means Keytruda has been already approved for advanced or recurrent cervical cancer in Japan.
While precedent Opdivo and Keytruda have been approved for wide indications, LIBTAYO’s future positioning and strategic challenges to compete with 2 giants would become a big topic in Japan.
CSL Behring’s BERINERT SC was approved for prevention of acute hereditary angioedema attacks, HAE, in September 2022.
Efficacy and safety of the product based on results of COMPACT study, global Ph 3, COMPACT extension study and Japanese Ph 3 study were evaluated by PMDA. The duration of Japanese Ph 3 study was around 10 months.
According to the quarterly price listing report published in October 2022, BERINERT SC was priced based on TAKHZYRO, marketed by Takeda since March 2022, that means it was given the same price as TAKHZYRO’s in terms of daily price. CSL Behring expects 36M USD as peak sales in the 4th year treating 139 HAE patients.
In Japan, drug pricing is regulated by the government because Japan has a universal healthcare system and the government controls healthcare expenditure including drug costs.
Study of C1 Inhibitor (Human) for the Prevention of Angioedema Attacks and Treatment of Breakthrough Attacks in Japanese Subjects With Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) – Full Text View – ClinicalTrials.gov