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Japan flat-sum changes may boost generic uptake further

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Japan's central social insurance medical council (Chuikyo) is debating a possible change to the diagnosis procedure combination (DPC) reimbursement system to encourage the use of generic drugs. But at a recent council hearing, no consensus was reached on a ministry of health, labour and welfare proposal to better reward generic use under the DPC evaluation system. The DPC programme involves flat-sum reimbursement for all acute inpatient care costs, including drugs, and is being implemented at an increasing number of hospitals in Japan. It is itself expected to drive generic uptake, as hospitals look to contain costs within the fixed figure (Scrip Online, October 7th, 2008).

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