Japan plans to curb drug spending with more-frequent pricing review


People walk past a signboard of a pharmacy in Tokyo on December 20, 2016.

TOKYO—Japan said Tuesday it plans to review drug prices annually instead of once every two years in an attempt to curb rising health care spending, rebuffing criticism from the U.S. government and pharmaceutical companies.

The move reflects global concern over high pharmaceutical prices, an issue that President-elect Donald Trump has said he wants to address. Stocks in the industry fell earlier this month after Mr. Trump told Time magazine, “I’m going to bring down drug prices.”

The Japanese government has long reviewed the prices of all drugs it pays for under its national insurance program every two years.

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