Pharmaceutical Policy Reforms to Regulate Drug Prices in Asia Pacific Region: The Case of Australia, China, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, and South Korea

Syed Shahzad Hasan, Chia Siang Kow, Dalia Dawoud, Omneya Mohamed, Darrin Baines, Zaheer Ud Din Babar

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Medicine price directly affects affordability and access to medicines particularly in countries where a major portion of pharmaceutical spending is through out-of-pocket payment, such as in the Asia Pacific region. We have undertaken a detailed appraisal of the pharmaceutical policy reforms to regulate drug prices in 3 developed (Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea) and 3 emerging (China, India, and Malaysia) economies of the Asia Pacific region. Despite continuous efforts by the authorities in adopting a wide range of reformatory pharmaceutical pricing policies to ensure affordability of medicines, these policies may not be optimal where drug prices were not lowered as expected (eg, in Korea). On the contrary, considerable price reductions of various pharmaceuticals have been observed in New Zealand and India because of the reform in pharmaceutical pricing policy. This review of pharmaceutical pricing reforms reinforces the need for constant monitoring by policy makers in Asia Pacific countries to regulate drug prices and to undertake reform in pharmaceutical pricing policies when necessary to ensure affordability and access to medicines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalValue in Health Regional Issues
Early online date7 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


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