History of Wholesalers
Traces the history of drug distribution, which has supported the development of medical society, and throws a light on the role of the wholesalers
The Meiji government promulgated a health care system in 1874 and approved guidelines regarding the establishment of medical education based on Western medicine, the establishment of a modern pharmacist system, and the preparation of a medical system with separate pharmacy and clinic functions
In terms of pharmaceuticals, the government regulated commercial drugs sold without verification of any special effects, and produced the Japanese Pharmacopoeia, which became the accepted standard for drug formulation. In 1889, the Drug Sales and Drug Handling Regulations established the basis for a modern pharmaceutical system, which regulated pharmacists, druggists, drug manufacturers, and drug handlers.
The distribution of Western drugs based on accurate medical knowledge was essential to the development of Western medicine, and during this period, many companies that started out as pharmacists and druggists established the foundations of business that are today’s pharmaceutical wholesalers(Oroshi).
The drug manufacturing industry became established in Japan with the Japan’s entry into the First World War. With the participation in the war, Western medicine supply imports from Germany were halted, and this had a severe impact on drug supplies. To ensure its own supply of Western medicines, the government established a temporary drug manufacturing department, disclosed manufacturing methods, issued subsidies to private companies, and nullified German-owned patent rights, thereby greatly promoting the nationalization of new drugs.
Reference materials: Doshomachi, a Town of Drugs (Doshomachi Resource Preservation Society)
55 Years of the Drug Wholesaling Industry (Federation of Japan Pharmaceutical Wholesalers Association)
History of Clinical Drugs (Hiroshi Amano, Yakuji Nippo)
History of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Japan (Japanese Society of History of Pharmacy, Ed.; Yakuji Nippo)
Company histories of companies mentioned