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    Although the "drug lag"-namely, the delay in drug approval time in Japan relative to the United States and/or European Union (US/EU)-has been shortened for drugs approved in Japan, there remain many new drugs that have been approved in the US/EU, but not in Japan. To assess the possibility of a future drug lag, this study has examined the current lag in drug development in Japan based on "" data from multiregional clinical trials (MRCTs) conducted in the US/EU and East Asia. Among 828 MRCTs registered as of April 5th, 2021, the percentage of MRCTs in which Japan participated (jMRCTs) was 57.1%. jMRCTs were common for some diseases such as "nervous system" and "visual system" disorders, but less common for "neoplasm," infection," "mental," and "circulatory" disorders. Regarding the investigational drugs in non-jMRCTs (i.e., MRCTs without Japanese participation) in the latter four therapeutic areas (i.e., neoplasm, infection, mental and circulatory disorders), approximately 80% (313/399) of drugs were not being developed in Japan. Furthermore, many of these drugs were being developed by the top 50 pharmaceutical companies by sales, and the majority would be recognized as a new active ingredient with a new mode of action in Japan. This study has highlighted the possibility of a future drug lag in Japan, especially in the therapeutic areas of neoplasm, infection, mental, and circulatory disorders. Such a lag may arise not only between Japan and the US/EU, but also between Japan and other countries in the East Asian region. © 2022. The Drug Information Association, Inc.


    Atsushi Noguchi, Hideki Hanaoka, Yoshiaki Uyama. Potential Future Drug Development Lag in Japan Based on an Analysis of Multiregional Clinical Trials in the US, Europe, and East Asia. Therapeutic innovation & regulatory science. 2022 May;56(3):523-529

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    PMID: 35181842

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