The Otsuka Group has a growing global reach, now including 189 companies in 30 countries and regions around the world, and it employs about 47,000 people. (as of December 31, 2018)
All Group companies around the world share the same corporate philosophy. Employee diversity is also being fostered based on the inclusion of different regional cultures, genders, and ages, to strengthen the Group's corporate culture.
By the 1960s, the Otsuka Group was already exporting I.V. solution products to Taiwan and other countries. In 1973, the Group established Thai Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. as a joint venture with local capital. After that, I.V. solution companies were successfully set up in Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, and Egypt. Otsuka entered the Chinese market as part of an influx of Western companies that were allowed in after the country began its economic reforms. China Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. was set up as an equal-investment joint venture with the Chinese government. The Group companies in the Asia and Middle East region are expanding their businesses with new medications developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical, in addition to I.V. solutions. Currently, Group companies such as Taiho Pharmaceutical, Otsuka Chemical, and Otsuka Foods are also setting up their own sites outside Japan. The nutraceuticals business including POCARI SWEAT and ORONAMIN C DRINK is being expanded worldwide. POCARI SWEAT has become even more popular in South Korea and Indonesia than it is in Japan. The Otsuka Group is also developing products that meet the needs of individual countries. Recently, the Group has been promoting medical devices and new soybean products such as SOYJOY. In the Asia and Middle East region, the Group is also actively carrying out social contribution activities. In 2003, it co-founded a clinic to provide free medical care for Afghan refugees in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan.
After the establishment of a site in Maryland for basic research and clinical development of pharmaceuticals in 1985, Otsuka America, Inc. was founded in 1989 to serve as the headquarters of Otsuka's business in the United States. Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. was set up the same year to focus on the pharmaceutical business there. In 2002, it launched the blockbuster drug, ABILIFY, while handling other new drugs developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
The United States has become a focal point of Otsuka Pharmaceutical's global clinical development network. In recent years, its importance as a business location has increased rapidly, and more drug development and sales strategy sites have been set up there. Moreover, Taiho Pharmaceutical is pursuing its own business in the U.S., which includes derivations of its anticancer drugs and radioactive isotope reagents handled by Cambridge Isotope Laboratories, Inc.
In the food and beverage business, several U.S. companies have joined the Otsuka Group, including Pharmavite LLC, owner of the leading vitamin and mineral brand, Nature Made, and the Crystal Geyser Water Company, which produces mineral water. Products from both these companies have been introduced to the Japanese market, where they have earned a solid reputation. In 1986, Ridge Vineyards, Inc., which makes world-class wine, also joined the Otsuka Group.
After setting up an office in Italy in the mid 1970s, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, S.A. was established in Spain in 1979 through equity participation. In 1982, a clinical research institute was set up in Frankfurt, Germany, and full-scale business development commenced with the creation of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Europe Ltd. in 1998. After that, sales companies were established in various countries to handle new drugs from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and the medical device, Adacolumn. In 2006, ABILIFY was launched in Europe, and Interpharma Praha, a.s. was established in the Czech Republic through equity participation. The pharmaceutical business continues to grow significantly in Europe.
In recent years, Otsuka has also made large-scale investments in the food and beverage sector in Europe. Along with capital participation in ALMA S.A., a major French mineral water company, the Group purchased Nutrition & Sante SAS, a manufacturer of nutritional products in France. Products from both companies have been introduced in the Japanese market, and SOYJOY and other Otsuka products have been introduced by Nutrition & Nature SAS in Europe.