Circling the Wagons
Whither Japan Pharma? If the last quarter's dealmaking is any hint, it's sticking pretty close to home--indeed, circling the wagons. An industry that needs to become less conservative is doing just the opposite as cost pressures increase in its home market.
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Japan presents huge opportunities for new product launches, but Western companies often squander them, failing to understand the unique aspects and requirements of the market. They often mis-estimate the size of commercial opportunities in Japan because of the differences in epidemiology and medical practice or run into pricing problems because they've chosen the wrong local comparator product or ignored the Japanese tendency to prescribe lower doses of products. But Westerners can do better--taking advantage, for example, of the liberalization of development rules and even the possibility of DTC advertising.
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