Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co., Inc.
Native name
Public KK
Traded asTYO: 4530
NSE: 4530
FES: 4530
Founded1847; 173 years ago (1847)
HeadquartersTosu, Saga 841-0017, Japan (Kyushu head office)
Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo100-6330, Japan (Tokyo head office)
Key people
Hirotaka Nakatomi
(President and CEO)
  • Salonpas and other pain relief products
  • Robitussin, Caltrate, Advil (Japan-only)
  • Eye drops
  • Anti fungal, anti-inflammatory, dermatologic, central nerve system, respiratory system medicines
RevenueIncrease JPY 150.63 billion (FY 2013)[1] (US$ 1.47 billion) (FY 2013)
Increase JPY 21.35 billion (FY 2013) (US$ 209.5 million) (FY 2013)
Number of employees
2,949 (consolidated, as of February 28, 2014)
WebsiteOfficial website
Footnotes / references

Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co., Inc. (久光製薬株式会社, Hisamitsu Seiyaku Kabushiki-gaisha), headquartered in Saga and Tokyo, Japan is a pharmaceutical company that develops and markets prescription and over-the-counter drug (OTC) products, especially external pain relieving products such as the transdermal patch.[3] Hisamitsu has specialized in transdermal drug delivery system technology[4] (TDDS) since the introduction of its original line of patches in 1903.[5]

Its Salonpas brand of products are exported to over fifty countries. Hisamitsu also manufactures the Mohrus and Mohrus-Tape line of external pain relief prescription products for the Japanese drug market. The company also manufactures internal medicines, eye drops for general application and the Lifecella Face Mask, a skin-care product. Hisamitsu has developed the only over-the-counter transdermal patches approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA).[6]


Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical was founded in 1847 under the name of Komatsuya. It was established in present-day Tosu, Saga, which borders the prefectures of Saga and Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu. This region is well known in Japan for a tradition of herbal medicines. The prototype of its Salonpas patch line was created through the application of asahi mankinko, a poultice consisting of rubbing ointment pasted on Japanese paper, in 1903. The Salonpas product line, which was developed from this more traditional remedy, was introduced in 1934 and first exported to overseas markets in 1937.

A subsidiary branch was opened in Taiwan in 1960. In 1975 a joint company was established in Indonesia. More subsidiaries followed in Brazil (Hisamitsu Farmaceutica do Brasil Ltda.) in 1986 and in the US (Hisamitsu America, Inc.) in 1987. Hisamitsu Vietnam Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. was established in Vietnam in 1994. In 1998 Hisamitsu U.K. opened in London and research laboratory was established in California.

In 1965 the company changed its name to Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co., Inc., and in 1972 was listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company began manufacturing and marketing prescription drugs during the 1970s. In 1988, it launched Mohrus, and in 1995, Mohrus-Tape, both prescription external anti-inflammatory drugs. Salonpas Pain Relief Patch and Salonpas Arthritis Pain were approved for over the counter sales in the US in 2008. In 2009, Hisamitsu acquired[7] Noven Pharmaceuticals, a specialty prescription drug transdermal pharmaceutical company based in Florida.


Headquarters of Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical in Tosu, Saga

Hisamitsu operates two primary bases in Japan, Saga and Tokyo. It has two subsidiaries in the U.S., Hisamitsu America, Inc. in Florham Park, NJ and Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Miami, FL. It has a clinical research department in New Jersey and research laboratory in Carlsbad, CA. Hisamitsu has overseas facilities in the U.S, the U.K, Brazil, Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

Hisamitsu America is the sole importer and distributor of Salonpas products in the United States and Canada.[8] It was founded in 1987 for the purpose of sales and distribution of Salonpas products in the U.S.[9]


Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical offers a variety of prescription and over-the-counter products including transdermal patches and skin care products. Its product lines include the Salonpas pain relief patches; Mohrus Tape, a transdermal patch containing ketoprofen for the treatment of back pain; Vesicum, a formulation containing ibuprofen piconol; and Estrana, a transdermal therapeutic estradiol drug. According to the company, Mohrus and Mohrus-Tape have the largest market share in prescription external anti-inflammatory drugs in Japan with 54% in 2nd generation NSAID patches.[8] The firm’s over-the-counter Salonpas products include a range of external pain relieving patches and aerosols for pains such as arthritis, backache, muscle strains, sprains and bruises.


  1. ^ "Financial Highlights". Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  2. ^ "Company Snapshot". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  3. ^ "Company Profile". Nikkei Asian Review. Nikkei Inc. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  4. ^ Author(s):  Geeta Aggarwal Dr. Sanju Dhawan. "Transdermal Drug Delivery System, transdermal patches, transdermal dosage form". Archived from the original on June 26, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  5. ^ "Hisamitsu History". Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  6. ^ "Hisamitsu Wins U.S. FDA Approval for Pain Relieving Skin Patch". Bloomberg L.P. October 18, 2009. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  7. ^ Grace, Kerry (July 15, 2009). "Hisamitsu Buys Drug Maker Noven -". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  8. ^ a b "ANNUAL REPORT 2009" (PDF). Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  9. ^ "Hisamitsu America Inc - Company Profile". Retrieved May 12, 2010.

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