A study by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) published on March 29 (here in Japanese) shows that drugs worth 6.82tr yen ($61.5bn) were made in Japan last year, which is up 3.5% on the output in 2014.
Production of cancer treatments – “tumour drugs” – increased the most, growing 40% to 227bn yen. The value of respiratory drugs made in Japan increased 21.4% to 119bn, while the total value of topical meds was up 19.3% to 459bn yen.
The value of medicines for circulatory disorders made in Japan fell 5.9% to 1,08bn yenwhile the value of drugs for the treatment of central nervous system diseases produced in the country fell 1.2% to 784bn yen.
The manufacturing surge is the first increase since 2011, when medicines worth 6.98tr yen were made in the country.
Exports and imports up
The total value of Japanese drug exports increased in 2015, climbing 21.8% to 153.5bn yen. The US was the biggest importer, followed by China and South Korea.
The value of drug imports also increased according to the MHLW, with medicines worth 4.02bn yen being shipped to the country from overseas. The US was the biggest source, followed by Ireland and Germany.