[Ip-health] Japan sets 50 pct price cut for Opdivo cancer drug: Ono Pharma

Andrew S. Goldman andrew.goldman at keionline.org
Thu Dec 8 05:17:27 PST 2016

Secretary of Commerce has already sent a letter...
WSJ: U.S. ‘Disappointed’ by Japanese Plan to Cut Drug Costs

Dec. 6, 2016 1:37 a.m. ET

TOKYO—The U.S. government has written to a senior aide of Japan’s Prime
MinisterShinzo Abe, calling on Tokyo to reconsider a plan that would allow
more frequent pharmaceutical price cuts.

The letter from Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker describes how the U.S.
is “disappointed” by the Japanese plan to reduce drug prices. Tokyo’s
policies “raise serious concerns about the incentive structure for
health-care products, as well as about the market’s predictability and
transparency,” it said.

Representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the prime minister’s
office declined to comment on the letter, dated Dec. 2 and seen by The Wall
Street Journal. A Commerce Department representative didn’t immediately
have a comment. It wasn’t clear whether the letter was formally delivered
to the aide, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it also sent a letter to Mr. Abe making
similar points.

“The letters from Secretary Pritzker and U.S. Chamber of Commerce President
Tom Donohue underscore the importance to patients in Japan of a good
climate for innovation,” said Mark Grayson, a spokesman for Pharmaceutical
Research and Manufacturers of America, a group representing drug companies.


Andrew S. Goldman
Counsel, Policy and Legal Affairs
Knowledge Ecology International
andrew.goldman at keionline.org // www.twitter.com/ASG_KEI
tel.: +1.202.332.2670

On Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 7:41 AM, Ruth Lopert <ruth.lopert at gmail.com> wrote:

> Will be interesting to see if the Japanese action prompts similar
> opprobrium from USTR as Colombia's action on imatinib.
> *http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL1N1DI054
> <http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL1N1DI054>*
> Nov 16 A Japanese health ministry council has approved a 50 percent cut in
> the price of Opdivo, a costly immune system-boosting cancer drug produced
> by Bristol Myers Squibb Co and marketed in the country by Ono
> Pharmaceutical Co Ltd.
> Opdivo, approved in Japan for treating advanced melanoma, non-small cell
> lung cancer and kidney cancer, has a current annual list price of 35
> million yen ($321,787). The 50 percent price cut will take effect in
> February, Ono Pharmaceutical said in an emailed statement on Wednesday.
> Japan's government-run health system typically adjusts drug prices every
> two years, but Opdivo's high price tag raised costs so much that officials
> decided to intervene with the steep price cut, according to local media
> reports confirmed by Ono.
> Opdivo is part of a new class of cancer drugs designed to fight cancer by
> unleashing the body's own immune system to kill tumors.
> In the United States, Opdivo's average list price is $13,100 per month, or
> $157,200 per year, according to Bristol Myers. The company said the U.S.
> price of Opdivo, first approved in late 2014, was increased by 1.5 percent
> earlier this year. (Reporting By Deena Beasley; Editing by Muralikumar
> Anantharaman)
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