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Change In Japan’s OTC Laws Bodes Changes In Buying Habits

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

A major change in Japan's laws governing the sale of over-the-counter drugs is expected to lead to a major change in consumer buying habits when it takes effect next April. As of that month, supermarkets and other large retailers are to be allowed to sell OTC drugs, currently confined to pharmacies. A price battle between the two groups is expected to result from relaxation of the pharmaceutical affairs law, placing pressure on drugstores that have seen rapid growth recently, but now face a need to change business models. The law change would remove the current requirement that limits OTC drug sales to pharmacists, allowing regular sales staff to sell the drugs after a year of drug-selling experience and a "registered drug seller" license. (Click here for more - a subscription may be required

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