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Generic drugs

As part of healthcare reform, the Japanese government has been promoting the use of generic drugs. It will reduce not only the patient’s copayment but also public medical expenditure. For this reason, we strongly recommend the use of generic drugs whenever and wherever available.

  • A generic drug chemically identical to a branded innovator drug is producible after the patent of the innovator drug expires. The generic drug is cheaper than the innovator one by more than 20% because development costs less. Some generic products are more than 50% cheaper. If you are under medication for a long time due to a chronic disease, we suggest you use generic medicines to save expenses.
  • Generic drugs are produced and brought to market after compatibility studies in the quality, performance characteristics and safety based on the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act in the same way as new drugs. Some generic drugs are easier to take than innovator drugs, while their efficacy remains the same.
  • A doctor’s prescription is required when you wish to use a generic drug. When there is a doctor’s signature in the prescription column of “Disapproval of the use of generic drugs”, you may not use the relevant generic drugs.
  • Consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using generic drugs. For convenience, you may present the card saying “I prefer generic drugs”. The Request for Generic Drugs Card [PDF:95KB]

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