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Strong pharma growth ahead for Japan

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Recent growth projections for Japanese pharmaceuticals signals good news for the industry.

The market is expected to grow from USD 87.23 billion in 2023 to USD 91.14 billion by 2028 according to research conducted by Mordor Intelligence.

Japan was once known for its somewhat closed pharmaceutical market, dominated by well-established domestic businesses and large global companies. But this is shifting with a significant increase in Western companies moving into the market. Growing research and development investments into Japan is contributing to growth.

International companies still appear to be favoring entering the market via domestic partnerships, licensing deals or collaborations with universities.

Factors contributing to growth

The per capita pharmaceutical spend in 2022 was $845 and is now at $959, which is attributed to an increased demand for prescription drugs and vaccines following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another factor for the projected growth is an aging population, bringing with it a higher incidence of chronic diseases.This includes cancer, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and more.

The rise of generic imports

One sector predicted to see growth is generic imports, which are still underrepresented in Japan. The market for prescription drugs has previously been dominated by original products. Companies from India, South Korea and China are looking to help meet the country’s recent drug shortages.

In 2022, generic sales amounted to 47% in volume terms, with the government aiming to see this increase to 80% in an effort to reduce healthcare costs. This could have an impact on domestic drug production.

The pharmaceutical industry is rapidly changing. Anticipated market growth fueled by R&D, market entries, and increased demand for drugs presents a significant opportunity for pharmaceutical companies.

At Morunda, we help life-changing companies enter the Japanese market by building world-class teams. Book a discovery session to get started.

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