Monday, February 13, 2012

Japan takes further steps to promote Generics dispensing

In its recommendation for the FY 2012 medical fee revision submitted to Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare (Yoko Komiyama). , the Central Social Insurance Medical Council  / Chuikyo;  it has proposed a number of measures to promote the use of generic drugs including increases in the premiums for generic drug dispensing systems and the introduction of a new premium for generic name prescriptions.  The recommendation will come in effect from April 1st. 

Current Incentives for Generic Dispensing
In the present system, there are 3 premiums for generic drug dispensing systems are granted to pharmacies. If generics account for 20-24% (six points), 25-29% (13 points), and 30% or more (17 points) of the overall sales volume. 

Changes Proposed to the current Incentive Scheme 
From April 1, the premiums will be granted to pharmacies with generic dispensing rates of 22-29% (five points), 30-34% (15 points), and 35% or higher (19 points).  The minimum generic dispensing rates required for premium granting will be increased and the differences in the number of points between pharmacies with lower dispensing rates and those with higher dispensing rates will be increased.

Another important change recommended is that Kampo (Japanese herbal medicines) medicines and crude drugs  which have no generics, will be excluded while computing the generic dispensing rate and this should favorably impact the dispensing rate by 1.6% points.

The premium for generic drug dispensing (two points per prescription filled) will be eliminated.  As a result, pharmacies with generic dispensing rates of less than 22% will no longer be able to claim any premium related to generic drugs.

The premium for generic drug use systems (30 points on the first day of hospitalization) that can be claimed by hospitals where generics account for at least 20% of drugs carried will also be revised.  A new premium of 35 points will be granted to hospitals that carry over 30% of generics, while the premium for those carrying 20-29% of generics will be reduced to 28 points.

To promote generic name prescriptions, a new premium for generic name prescribing (two points per prescription) will be added to the legal prescription fee (for prescriptions issued for dispensing at dispensing pharmacies).

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