Updated on 30 September 2015
September 28th witnessed the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) granting approvals to many drugs aimed at treating important medical conditions in Japan.
With Merck's diabetes drug approval, Japan becomes the first country to sell MARIZEV, which offers an important option for people in Japan to manage their type 2 diabetes, particularly for those who prefer once-weekly dosing.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease, the cardinal sign of which is inflammatory demyelination of the central nervous system characterized by demyelinating plaques in the brain and the spinal cord. The morbidity in patients with MS is estimated to be approximately 18,000 in Japan, and its prevalence shows an increasing trend. The approval of Takeda's Copaxone Subcutaneous Injection (developed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries) marks an important milestone in the treatment options for MS.
Japan has one of the highest rates of hepatitis C infection in the industrialized world, with approximately 1.5 to 2 million people living with HCV. The approval of Enanta-AbbVie's VIEKIRAX will now offer HCV patients in Japan an all-oral, once daily treatment option that has demonstrated high cure rates in trials.
House dust mites (HDM) are the most common cause of allergy in the world. In Japan, an estimated 25-35 million people suffer from allergy caused by Japanese cedar tree pollen or house dust mites. The approval of Torii's HDM SLIT-tablet now will be a relevant treatment option for Japanese patients suffering from allergies caused by house dust mites.