Research Paper Series 2004

(No.19:May 2004)

Pharmaceutical Pricing and Pharmacoeconomics -Road to Application-

Shunya Ikeda* and Shuji Onozuka

  Pharmacoeconomics is a methodology which examines both the cost and effect of drug therapy to enable a quantitative evaluation of its economic efficiency. In many countries, pharmacoeconomics is used in policy decisions, such as judgments on reimbursement. In Japan, although the potential of using pharmacoeconomics for policy decisions has been often pointed out, its practical application lags behind.

  For example, the premium rates, which have been applied to new drugs under the current Comparator Method, are not necessarily determined based on the scientific evidence about the drug. In order to put pharmacoeconomics into practical application, issues such as the following must be addressed: how, when, and who should carry out the research; who should evaluate the results; and how to ensure the quality of research.

  This research paper covers the following topics on pharmacoeconomics: an overview of research techniques; the use of pharmacoeconomics in policy decision-making in foreign countries; an analysis of the results of a questionnaire addressed to Japanese companies on their use of data in price negotiation; and a review of the existing papers on new drugs. Based on this review, challenges for and a perspective on the future use of pharmacoeconomics in the Japanese pricing system are offered.

*School of Medicine, Keio University

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