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A la carte of “Medicine of Toyama”
Toyama prefecture’s approach to medicine

“Medicine of Toyama” is the roots of Toyama

Toyama is known for its rich source of water and widely available electric power. So, we take advantage of these energy. Therefore, heavy and chemical industry have developed and grown to be one of the best Industrial Complex areas on the sea of Japan side.
Among these industries, Pharmaceutical production occupies 8.7% of the total industrial production in the prefecture, so it is the key industry in Toyama.
In 2009, total amount of pharmaceutical production was 57.35 billion yen and it was second place in Japan. Toyama ranked first in Japan by amount of money of pharmaceutical production, number of the plant, and number of employees who engage in the production per unit of population.

Shipments by the category of industries  in Toyama in 2008

The base of the pharmaceutical industry in Toyama was constituted by the “Drug for household delivery business” with the 300 years history and its tradition. Its proven achievements have established pharmaceutical production companies and improved their quality and techniques. It has been widely accepted with high-reputation all over Japan.
Moreover, industry of wrapping papers for medicines and paper balloons (as freebie toy) that were given for kids of the customers have grown with the development of pharmaceutical industry. Then the printing (print art) companies of those paper goods has grown with it. Followed by those, related businesses, such as industries of aluminum tubes and plastics for medicine container, have also developed.

In the Meiji period, when modern industry started, the pharmaceutical industry contributed a lot for modernization of industries in Toyama prefecture, such as banks, electrical companies and pharmaceutical companies, based on its capital from “drug for house hold delivery” and knowledge that has accumulated.
At the same time, the pharmaceutical industry also fulfilled big role for education by enhancing development of human resources. It established Kyoritsu pharmaceutical school (forerunner of department of pharmacy in Toyama University). That is why it is known for the “Roots of Toyama”.


Challenge to be “Capital of the pharmaceutical industry”

Pharmaceutical production industry in Toyama has well developed with expanding generics and commissioning manufacture since 2005, when the revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Act went into effect and enabled us to outsource any pharmaceutical products. In 2008, its total production went over 50 billion yen and it led to the second place in Japan.
Toyama Pharmaceutical Association tries to be a “Capital of pharmaceutical industry” with the hope of making the next leap forward by business cooperation with companies from other prefectures. The challenges include encouraging companies for commissioning manufacture by calling on faculties of pharmaceutical big companies, securing a stable source of manpower such as pharmacists, assisting for technology building, and co-distribution.

Amount of production by prefecture

As for boosting international exchanges, we have sent a group of people to Basel, Switzerland which is known for “Capital of pharmaceutical industry of the World” four times since 2006. In 2010, we sent another group to Italy, presented at the Bio-Expo in Korea and held the symposium about co-development of pharmaceutical products between Basel and Toyama. We try to activate and globalize our pharmaceutical industry through those efforts.

Moreover, we try to develop the original brand products and promote all the products, hold PR events, commercial, and train for higher quality personnel. Those are for Toyama to have higher reputation as the capital of pharmaceutical industry.