Objective: The compensation scheme for adverse drug reactions in Japan was implemented more than three decades ago as relief system by regulatory agencies. Because of the high frequency of adverse drug reactions, anticancer drugs have been excluded from coverage by the relief system since its implementation. Requests have recently been made by some patient advocates for the expansion of relief coverage to include anticancer drugs. In response to these requests, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan established a committee to discuss relief from anticancer drug-induced health damages in June 2011. Methods: We conducted comprehensive research into the compensation scheme for adverse drug reactions in the world.We also investigated the situation of compensation and the committee for discussing inclusion of anticancer drugs into the relief system in Japan. Results: Many countries including the United States and UK do not have relief or compensation schemes for no-fault compensation. We investigated whether a no-fault compensation system exists in Nordic countries (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland), France, Germany, New Zealand and Taiwan in the world, although they offer different services from Japan.We also reviewed current situation and the fundamental difficulties associated with including anticancer drugs in the systems in Japan. Conclusions: The present study investigated the current situation and the fundamental difficulties associated with including anticancer drugs in the systems in Japan and pointed out part of the reason why the committee could not conclude involvement of anticancer drugs in the relief system.
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