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Cutting Japan's growing drugs bill without harming patients

Insurers should switch cash away from cheap everyday medicines to vital new treatments

| Japan

With an aging population, medical bills in Japan's national health insurance system are rising. And nothing is going up as fast as spending on drugs.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare recently revealed that while Japan's estimated medical bills in the fiscal year 2017 (ending in March 2018), rose 2.3% overall to 42.2 trillion yen ($370 billion), the increase in medication spending was 2.9%, the largest increase in any category.

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