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Japan Sees New OTC Drug Law Spurring ‘Switch’ Production

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

The effort by Japan's Ministry of Health to encourage more production of over-the-counter "switch drugs" appears to be bearing fruit. Drug makers are racing to release their versions of the drugs and help revive the OTC market in Japan. New laws take effect next June that classify OTC drugs into three groups based on their efficacy and risk of side effects. The "switch drugs" would require a pharmacist to explain how the drugs for lifestyle ailments are to be used. That provision is expected to eliminate pharmacy competition by most discount retailers, so manufacturers are focusing first on that sector of medicines. (Click here for more - a subscription may be required

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