Japanese Online Drug Retailer Forced To Go Abroad To Serve Japanese Customers

Logo of Kenko.com Singapore

One of Japan’s largest online drug retailers Kenko.com[J] announced it had launched a subsidiary[J] last September in Singapore, which is intended for avoiding the possible violation of the new law banning online drug sales and for serving the company’s customers by the personal import scheme. (Refer to this Akky’s story and that Shun-ichi’s story for more about the ban.)   Users can purchase non-prescription Japanese drugs on Kenko.com Singapore’s website and receive them via international courier service. The subsidiary’s service is intended for Japanese residents for the time being, and Japanese communities outside Japan and the other Asian countries are also targeted as the company’s potential online retail market.

Some 2,500 items are available on the website, your drugs will need around one week to reach you after placing an order. An order worth less than USD89 (JPY8,000) requires a USD7.22 (JPY650) S&H charge.

Kenko.com CEO Genri Goto says, bringing OTC(over the counter) drugs to Japanese customers from outside Japan is NOT regarded as violating the new pharmaceutical affair law banning online drug sales according to Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. The company expects to serve in English and Chinese as well as Japanese, and to be the largest online drug retailer in the Asian region.

Due to the new law effective last June in the country, specifically elderly people living in rural areas or on isolated islands have difficulty in getting supplements and drugs via mail order, and a number of long-standing and small-sized traditional drug manufacturers are facing hard times to survive.

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Masaru IKEDA has co-founded several system integration companies and consulting firms in Tokyo. He has been contributing serial columns to nationwide newspapers and IT periodicals, also he's currently serving as tech consultant for several web companies. His biography is here. His private blog is here.

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Masaru IKEDA

Masaru IKEDA has co-founded several system integration companies and consulting firms in Tokyo. He has been contributing serial columns to nationwide newspapers and IT periodicals, also he's currently serving as tech consultant for several web companies. His biography is here. His private blog is here.