Japanese pharma products snapped up by Chinese tourists

Chinese tourists to Japan took advantage of the recent weeklong Lunar New Year holiday to stock up on over-the-counter remedies and novel therapies unavailable at home, according to Japanese social media analytics company Hottolink.

The company, cited by The Wall Street Journal, said an analysis of comments posted on Chinese social media including via Weibo and WeChat between Feb. 18 and 24 showed that cold and pain relief were at the top of shopping lists as Chinese consumers believe Japanese-sold items are safer and offer better value.

Even though such products may be less expensive in China, consumers fear the savings come from using low-quality ingredients.

This is an issue the government has addressed in part by plans to lift price controls on pharmaceuticals and ensure quicker approval of more novel therapies.

Chinese regulators have long been criticized as slow to approve new drugs.

- here's the story from the WSJ