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Did you know?

Japan is the 3rd largest individual pharmaceutical market worldwide1, at US$70B2.

1Pharmaceutical Technology, April 2017
2 In 2016, per Drug Development & Delivery,
 February 2017

Exclusively for our contract manufacturing partners:Pfizer CentreOne Japan Gateway Services

You need to enter the Japanese market; Pfizer has been there for 50 years.

The Japanese marketplace is like no other. You need a partner that knows not only the regulatory standards but the cultural norms. Our experts at Pfizer CentreOne’s Nagoya, Japan, facility can help you introduce your drug smoothly – and with a marketing edge.

What’s different about the Japanese pharmaceutical market?


Any drug entering Japan must go through a thorough re-inspection for quality. For solid dose, that includes removal of any foreign, chipped or deformed tablets. For sterile injectables, that includes confirmation the drug is free of particles; the container closure is secure and without defect; and the fill-volume is correct.

Pharmacy expectations

Japanese pharmacies have specific expectations for drug packaging. Not only should the box be sized to meet storage and shelving requirements, it must be designed for easy access to the products within.


The drug and its packaging must be free of any defects to be acceptable to the Japanese public: no scratches on vials; no ink smears on tablets or cartons; no stray marks or dents on cartons; and the package color must be perfect. Imperfections could imply a lack of integrity of the medicine itself.

Ease of use

The Japanese patient expects a drug’s packaging to be user-friendly, such as easy-open foil pouches, tear-off tops, push-through blisters. The package design itself, not just the label, should help the patient know when and how to take the drug.

We deeply understand the exacting expectations of Japanese pharmacies and patients.

Our Nagoya experts have years of experience inspecting primary, secondary and tertiary packaging and will make sure your product is free of defects before leaving our facility. When it comes to package design, our custom packaging team knows how to meet the exact size and technical specifications that pharmacies demand. They will also collaborate with you to create packaging that is aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly, to maximize your medication’s appeal to patients.

Our Japan gateway capabilities

Packaging inspection (quality and cosmetic)

  • Primary, secondary and tertiary packaging inspection

Packaging services, sterile injectables

  • Pre-filled syringe kitting
  • Multi-vial cartons
  • Blister trays
  • Tamper-evident or security labels

Packaging services, highly potent oral solid dosage forms

  • Cold-forming and thermoforming capability
  • Strip packaging
  • Humidity-controlled packaging
  • 2D data matrix applications

Packaging development

  • Collaborative, customized packaging design to meet the technical specifications of pharmacies and the functional/aesthetic expectations of patients

Cold chain, sterile injectables

  • Refrigerated temperature control (2-8°C)
  • Cold-chain reception and storage of drugs in warehouse
  • Inspection and packing onsite under cold-chain conditions

Analytical testing

  • If required, in-market testing for release to the Japanese market