Historical and Hygienic Aspects on Roles of Quality Requirements for Antibiotic Products in Japan: Part 1--Development of Antibiotic Products

Morimasa Yagisawa, Patric J Foster, Tatsuo Kurokawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Antibiotic products have contributed greatly to keep Japanese people healthy by controlling lethal infections. In the early days, antibiotics such as penicillin and streptomycin were produced using microbial fermentation processes. Therefore, the component ratio of the active element and related substances varied lot by lot. For the purpose of efficacy and assuring safety, minimum requirements for penicillin and streptomycin products were enacted. Both variations and the number of clinically available antibiotic products have increased due to the pharmaceutical development of novel natural antibiotics. In addition, semi-synthetic derivatives of various antibiotics have been developed for the purpose of enhancing antimicrobial activity or improving pharmacological properties. As a result, 202 entities of antibiotic products have been approved and used clinically as of 2012. We conducted a detailed investigation of the progress made in the field of antibiotic products, and analyzed the characteristics of those belonging to each class of antibiotics by means of setting up a system of classification that reflects clinical applications. This report is intended to serve as an introduction to our series of investigations into the role and influence of quality requirements on development of antibacterial antibiotic products in Japan. As described here, the general view of antibacterial antibiotic products spanning a time frame of 67 years in Japan might serve as an ideal reference for future reports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalYakushigaku zasshi. The Journal of Japanese history of pharmacy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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