The Japanese immunologist who won this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has urged Japan's health minister to promote preventive healthcare.
Tasuku Honjo, a distinguished professor at Kyoto University, paid a courtesy call on health minister Takumi Nemoto on Thursday.
Nemoto congratulated Honjo on winning the Nobel prize. The minister said immunotherapy is an epoch-making development, and he intends to provide more government support for medical research.
Honjo said he is glad because patients have told him they recovered because of the drug that his research helped to develop. But he said some patients also complain about the high prices of drugs.
Honjo said snowballing medical costs have become a big problem in Japan, so he wants the health ministry to focus on preventive healthcare.
Nemoto responded that preventive healthcare is one of his ministry's key policies and he is committed to the issue.