In recent years, more and more Japanese pharmaceutical companies have been submitting pharmacoeconomic data to the government, following the official request that such data may help in setting pharmaceutical prices. The companies have cooperated because, by doing so, they could influence pricing decisions for new products. However, the quality of these data at present is considered to be poor and heavily biased. The introduction of pharmacoeconomic guidelines that outline a set of standardised factors to be included in evaluations are necessary, so that an appropriate comparison of the cost effectiveness of the many new drugs that are introduced onto the Japanese market each year can be made. In addition to supporting the development of standardised guidelines, the Ministry of Health and Welfare should clarify how pharmacoeconomic data are to be used to aid policy decisions and also mandate the publication of pharmacoeconomic data.
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