Corporate History

Our Humanistic Business

Corporate History


Hanpei Sawai and Noyo Sawai (pharmacist) established Sawai Pharmacy. Sawai Pharmaceutical’s predecessor, in Asahi-ku, Osaka.

Began round-the-clock operations in order to serve as many patients as possible.

Noyo Sawai was one of only ten female pharmacists in Japan at the time.

After starting Sawai Pharmacy with his wife Noyo, Hanpei went on to become Sawai Pharmaceutical's first President.


Sawai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. incorporated in Asahi-ku, Osaka.

As the head of the Sawai family, Hanpei took an innovative and pioneering approach to developing a variety of over-the-counter drugs for the market.

A selection of products at the time.


Shifted operations from OTC drugs to the manufacture of ethical pharmaceuticals.

Following the introduction of a nationwide universal health care program in 1961, Sawai shifted focus to prescription drugs, thereby contributing to the health of a growing number of patients.


Second Osaka Factory (now Osaka Factory) completed.


Former Head Office building completed and Head Office relocated.


Jiro Sawai appointed President.


Jiro Sawai appointed Chairman and Hiroyuki Sawai appointed President.


Sawai shares listed on the OTC stock market.


Began newspaper advertising.

Sawai was the first in the industry to advertise in newspapers in an effort to raise awareness about generic drugs, which were relatively unknown in Japan at the time.


Listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.


Started nationwide TV advertising.

Sawai was the first in the industry to air TV commercials in an effort to gain recognition and further promote awareness about generic drugs in Japan.


Hiroyuki Sawai appointed Chairman and Mitsuo Sawai appointed President.


Acquired Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC and entered the U.S. market in earnest.

Drawn to Sawai's corporate culture of Always Putting Patients First, Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC joined the Sawai Group, creating a stronger synergy among its members.


Sawai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. celebrates 90th year in business.
Upsher-Smith Laboratories, LLC celebrates 100th year in business.


Transitioned to a holding company structure and Sawai Group Holdings Co., Ltd. established. Sawai became one of the group companies.

Our Humanistic Business