Historical and Hygienic Aspects on Roles of Quality Requirements for Antibiotic Products in Japan: Part 2--Achievements of Domestic Production of Penicillin and Streptomycin

Morimasa Yagisawa, Patric J Foster, Tatsuo Kurokawa

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Abstract

Domestic production of penicillin was initiated in 1946 and that of streptomycin in 1950. In the early days, however, the quality of products was considerably lower and the capacity of production small. Surprisingly, there was a sufficient amount of penicillin preparations, with a purity of 85% or more, satisfying domestic demand within three years (1949). In the case of streptomycin, within three years (1953), preparations with a purity two-fold higher than initially available were produced in amounts sufficient to meet both domestic demand and create a surplus availability for exporting purposes. Such increases in quality and production were considered to be made possible by strict quality control of penicillin and streptomycin preparations, based on "Minimum Requirements for Penicillin" established in May 1947 and "Minimum Requirements for Streptomycin" established in December 1949. These requirements were also amended over time in order to provide even higher quality standards in response to the evolving improvements in production processes. Life-threatening diseases such as septicemia and pneumonia were controlled by the sufficient supply of high-quality penicillin preparations and the mortality rate of tuberculosis, regarded as a national disease at the time, markedly decreased by that of streptomycin preparations. Achievements of domestic production of penicillin and streptomycin were considered important factors that contributed greatly to the maintenance of public health in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalYakushigaku zasshi. The Journal of Japanese history of pharmacy
Volume50
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Streptomycin
Penicillins
Japan
History
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Quality Control
Sepsis
Pneumonia
Tuberculosis
Public Health
Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

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