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International relations

US objects to Japan's state-mandated drug prices

Washington urges more 'input' for American pharmaceutical industry

Japan looks to lower prices on cutting-edge therapies to curb overall medical spending.

TOKYO -- The U.S. demanded this week that Japan reassess its system of government-set drug prices, complaining about price cuts often forced on new expensive drugs, a sign that Washington is prepared to intercede on behalf of specific American industries.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross apparently made the request in private talks Wednesday with Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Japan's health minister. Drug prices seemingly did not arise during economic talks Tuesday, when Ross met here with Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko and Vice President Mike Pence held a dialogue with Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso.

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