Updated on 12 June 2012
Launched by Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical, Mohrus, ranked fifth, is used as a pain and inflammation relief for acute disorders and symptoms. Commonly known as ketoprofen, Mohrus Tape received first approval in Japan as a skin patch indicated for lower back pain along with osteoarthritis and shoulder periarthritis. In November 2009, it was indicated for rheumatoid arthritis as well.
Launched by Sankyo, a subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo, Olmetec (olmesartan medoxomil), ranked sixth, possesses strong antihypertensive action compared with other angiotensin II receptor blockers. This product is indicated for the treatment of hypertension.
Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma launched Remicade in Japan in 2002. Remicade, ranked ninth, is a biological agent that is effective against a wide range of inflammatory autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is a monoclonal antibody that specifically targets TNF-alpha, which has been shown to play a role in Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis psoriatic arthritis, ulcerative colitis, pediatric Crohn's disease and psoriasis. It is also the only anti-TNF approved in three different therapeutic areas of gastroenterology, rheumatology and dermatology.
Valsartan (angiotan or diovan), developed by Novartis, is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist with particularly high affinity for the type I (AT1) angiotensin receptor. Launched in 2000 in Japan, Diovan, ranked third, has played a star role in the Novartis portfolio. However, it witnessed negative growth of 10 percent in 2011.
Lipitor (atorvastatin), ranked fourth, is one of the leading products of Pfizer. It is used to treat high cholesterol and to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications in people with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease or other risk factors. In Japan, Astellas Pharma sells this product under an agreement with Pfizer, which has been extended till March 2021 from 2016. Reports say Astellas will initially pay Pfizer a sum of one billion yen. The prominence of Lipitor, once the world's best-selling drug, is on the wane after its generic version was introduced late last year.
Plavix (clopidogrel) stands at the seventh position. It was discovered by Sanofi and has been co-developed by Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Since 1993, it is indicated for prevention of vascular ischemic events in patients with symptomatic atherosclerosis, acute coronary syndrome without ST-segment elevation, ST elevation MI and also used, along with aspirin, for the prevention of thrombosis after placement of intra-coronary stent or as an alternative anti-platelet drug for patients who are intolerant to aspirin.