Indian generics to get easier access in Japan

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is set to gain in a big way with Japan, the world's second largest market, agreeing to open up by removing import duty on generic drugs shipped from here.

As part of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement signed between India and Japan on Wednesday, for the first time ever Japan has committed to give the same treatment to the pharma industry here as it gives to the domestic industry.

“The agreement will ensure access to a highly developed Japanese market for the pharmaceutical sector and for the first time ever, Japan has committed to give the same treatment for Indian generics as their domestic industry,” a statement issued by the Commerce and Industry Ministry said.

Import duties on Indian pharmaceutical products imposed by Japan will come down to zero once the agreement comes into force, expected to happen by this April. At present, Japan imposes import duty ranging from 4 to 10 per cent on pharma products.

Moreover, the agreement will simplify procedures for the Indian companies planning to sell drug there. Japan has its own standards, requiring firms to rely on data specific to the country and cannot depend on tests conducted elsewhere.

Welcoming the development, Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA) Secretary General Daara B. Patel told PTI: “It will help Indian companies to register their products there. It will lead to an increase the business with Japan.”

The Japanese pharmaceuticals market is the second largest in the world after the U.S., but the generics segment in the country is estimated to have annual sales of up to $6 billion, less than 8 per cent of the total market.

Only recently, the country had moved towards accepting generics drugs to bring down healthcare costs, post the financial meltdown in 2008-09 to meet the growing requirements of an ageing population.

Analysts pointed out that Japan's decision to open its market to Indian generics could have been influenced to a large extent by the acquisition by Daiichi Sankyo of Ranbaxy Laboratories, which is a major generics drugs maker.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 2:19:46 PM |

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