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Japan to Make Medication Available Online by 2025

Japan to Make Medication Available Online by 2025

The Japanese government plans to expand the availability of over-the-counter drugs online by 2025. They’re aiming to improve access to medications currently limited to select pharmacies.

Japan has permitted the online sale of non-prescription drugs since 2014 but recent regulatory changes have occurred. In 2022, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government allowed the home delivery of prescription drugs. This change marked a significant regulatory adjustment.

However, some medications that were previously prescription-only but have recently transitioned to non-prescription status, including treatments for conditions like colds, allergies, and incontinence, remain subject to restrictions.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is actively working to make most of these drugs available online, with video call instructions available to patients for proper usage.

It’s important to note that these drugs represent a relatively small segment of the market and are primarily sold in specific pharmacies.

The ministry intends to maintain the requirement for in-person purchases of certain medications, such as emergency contraceptives. Furthermore, there are plans to limit the purchase of large quantities of medicines by minors, necessitating online appointments with pharmacists, even for smaller orders in their case.

How This Could Affect Your Business?

As the Japanese government relaxes regulations concerning medication, there may be greater opportunities for foreign pharmaceutical sellers to enter the Japanese market through online platforms more easily. 

While Japan can be hesitant to alter established laws and regulations, this adjustment will hopefully not only provide easier access to medication for Japanese patients but also create expanded global opportunities for foreign pharmaceutical companies looking to enter the Japanese market with less hassle.

Sources: Nikkei Asia, Agenzianova

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