ChEMBL Resources

The SARfaris: GPCR, Kinase, ADME

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Japanese Drug Approvals

It's sometimes difficult to trace the approval process for drugs in 'foreign' countries - of course, foreign is relative, but nonetheless as a non-local it is difficult to know where to start. As an example, I tried a number of 'social media' approaches to find out about Chinese Drug non-proprietary naming - Quora, Google+ the ChEMBL-og and LinkedIn - LinkedIn was by far the best in terms of useful leads and information, often from 2nd or 3rd away links. Thanks to all that helped so far.

Anyway, here's a website in Japan which contains a definitive list of Japanese Drug Approvals, and which has sections in the English language to help non-Japanese readers/speakers.

It's the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency, Japan, website - with an English version at

There are convenient, yearly approval summaries, in English -

Package inserts are here (Japanese only).

As a general comment, I find the websites for the primary US and European drug approval agencies ( and to be very complex to use, have unstable links (so things can move around and disappear), have no obvious site maps, or ways of retrieving data in a programmatic/hackamatic way - which given that these are obvious cases where opening up and ready availability of public/government data is surprising. The ability to link in to these sites is essential, and at the moment, can't be reliably done.

As an aside, there's a very good database in the UK - UK Medicines Information, which, unfortunately is only available to NHS employees, or other associated staff (presumably for licensing reasons?). However, a lot of the post-sign-in content is indexed in well known search engines - you just need to know what you are looking for ;)

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