Japan's deregulation council is debating whether to increase reimbursement rates for prescription drugs to spur innovation and investment as part of a broader economic reform effort. The pharmaceutical industry strongly supports such increases. "The declining competitiveness of Japan's drug industry can be seen from the growing share of overseas drugs in the Japanese market," said Eiko Tobita of the Japan Research Institute. The country's finance ministry, however, advocates greater use of generics and lower reimbursements for drugs no longer under patent.

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