Spotlight On... Japanese government to cut treatment fees in 2016; CSL Behring submits for hep B drug; Orchid Pharma in $800M loan deal; India caps more drug prices; and more...

The government of Japan said this week it plans to cut medical treatment fees by 0.84% in its fiscal 2016 budget as the country tries to trim social spending, which has become a huge problem as Japan's population continues to age and incur high healthcare costs. The country's medical fees are revised every two years and include fees paid to doctors and pharmacists as well as covering prices for drugs. The country will raise medical service fees by 0.49%, which will go to doctors, pharmacists and other medical workers and will cut official drug prices by 1.33%, according to a report by the Japan News. The government plans to cut ¥170 billion ($1.4 billion) from the expected increase in national social security expenditures. The 0.84% cuts in medical fees are expected to save about ¥90 billion, the report said, with another ¥20 billion in cuts to government subsidies planned for the country's Health Insurance Association. Report

> CSL Behring said it has submitted a New Drug Application to Japanese regulators for its hemophilia B treatment rIX-FP. Release

> India's Orchid Pharma said its European subsidiary has signed an $800 million loan agreement with Line Trust International to be used for "growth opportunities." Report

> Huya Bioscience International said its lymphoma treatment HBI-8000 has been given orphan drug status by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Release

> Aquinnah Pharma said it has received a $5 million investment from Takeda Pharmaceutical for research on ALS. Release

> India's National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority said it has capped prices for 530 essential medicines. Report

> India's Piramal Enterprises said it has acquired five branded drugs from MSD for $14 million, including Naturolax, Lactobacil and Farizym. Report

> Indian startup Pandorum Technologies said it has developed artificial liver tissues by using 3-D printing technology. Report

> India, which has the highest number of multi-drug resistant TB patients in the world, has seen a 12% increase in such patients since 2000 and the government is being urged to stop sales of over-the-counter anti-TB drugs. Report

> The government of South Korea said the rate of cancer patients surviving for more than five years reached 69.4% from 2009 to 2013. Report

> U.S.-based Cardinal Health ($CAH) is betting heavily on the Asian market where countries like Japan and China face aging populations; the company looks to invest in partners in the region. Report

> Shanghai Fosun Pharma unit plans a HK IPO. Report