The Japanese Pharmaceutical Industry

Its Evolution and Current Challenges

By Maki Umemura

© 2011 – Routledge

190 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415587662
pub: 2011-03-04
US Dollars$165.00

About the Book

This book explores why Japan, despite being a world leader in many high technology industries such as automobiles and consumer electronics, is only a minor player in the global pharmaceutical industry. Japan provides a huge market for pharmaceuticals as the second largest consumer of prescription drugs after the United States, and is a massive importer of prescription drugs, relying on discoveries made elsewhere. This book charts the development of the industry, from the devastation resulting from the Second World War to its performance in the present day. Focusing in particular on antibiotics and anticancer drugs, the book analyses factors that have prevented Japan from leading the rapid advances in science and technology that have occurred globally over recent decades. Looking at the pharmaceutical industry, the book argues that the Japanese government’s research and development policies were not sufficiently incentivising. It also shows how the nature of capitalism in Japan - which featured close relations between government and industry as well as between and within firms - was appropriate for nurturing industrial development in the immediate post-war decades, but became much less effective in later years.


'The Japanese Pharmaceutical Industry is an ambitious, broad-ranging analysis of the postwar history of an industry whose eight per cent share of Japanese manufacturing understates its significance in terms of health and as a barometer for science-based innovation.' - Robert Kneller, University of Tokyo; Journal of Japanese Studies, 2013.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Why didn’t Japan become a global leader in pharmaceuticals? 2. A historical overview of Japan’s pharmaceutical industry 3. Developing a modern industry: The antibiotics sector 4. What went wrong? The anticancer drug sector 5. Conclusion: Reconsidering Japan’s business in pharmaceuticals

About the Author

Maki Umemura is a lecturer in Japanese studies at Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Growth Economies of Asia

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of the growth economies of Asia.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Manufacturing Industries
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General