July 17, 2000
One Year Following the Release of RiUP
On June 3, 1999 Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (President: Akira Uehara) released RiUP - a hair-growth drug, containing minoxidil, to treat male pattern baldness. Following is an update on the progress and developments of RiUP's first year on the market.
Three "Firsts" in Japan
RiUP is the first new drug to be approved in Japan for the OTC market without first being sold by prescription. This was also the first product in Japan to both stimulate new hair growth and prevent hair loss in male pattern baldness. On top of this, RiUP was Japan's first "lifestyle drug." These drug products are very popular in the West, although not essential to everyone, and they greatly improve the quality of life of those that use them. We have succeeded in carving a brand new market niche in Japan for lifestyle drugs that are available to the public freely - without a doctor's prescription.
Lifestyle Information Services
When used correctly, pharmaceutical products have proven to be both safe and extremely effective. Since the release of RiUP as an OTC product, we have realized the importance of providing customers with thorough lifestyle information, and have been involved in establishing these services. With a "check sheet" for consumers to self-diagnose their male pattern baldness condition, in addition to a RiUP explanation guide, we have developed a support system enabling safer and more effective product use. Through easily understood formats in newspapers, magazines and on television, we are able to provide information on hair-loss, as well as convey the safety and effectiveness of RiUP in fostering hair growth and restoring hair. This also helps us to educate users on correct product use. We are now actively involved in post-release research, for an OTC medicine product, that may last up to 6 years (with 1,000 samples per year at pharmaceutical retail locations). We will also have dermatological examinations conducted on first-time users of RiUP (about 100 examinations per year).
Developing the Medical Market Even Further
We are grateful to our customers for their key role in the success of RiUP as a lifestyle drug. We are committed to boosting the effectiveness of pharmaceuticals and to fostering awareness in "self-medication," allowing people to manage their own health. Taisho will also work to develop the new market for medical products that has emerged, and continue to provide our customers with a wide variety of health-related information services.
Future RiUP Developments
In the fall of this year, we are planning to commence clinical testing on a RiUP product that can also be used by women. In response to the demands of current users of RiUP, we are also developing a concentrated version, and are unrelenting in our pursuit of product improvements and new dosage forms.
Hair Product Market Share (data care of Fuji-Keizai Data Research)
RiUP in the news