Legendary Antidiarrheric "Seirogan" to Revive in Liquid Capsule
Today's episode has to do with a popular OTC drug manufactured and marketed over a century ago, 1902, amid the Russo-Japanese War and now reviving in a liquid capsule to meet younger generations.
The antidiarrheic commonly known as Seirogan was so named when the Japanese imperial army first adopted it as part of the first-aid kit to accompany the foot soldiers drafted in the Russo-Japanese war - Sei for "go", Ro for "Russia", and gan for "ball" - meaning a "ball to go to Russia with".
The Taiko Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., manufacturers of Seirogan, announced March 15 a new variation of Seirogan branded "Seirogan Quick C" for marketing effective April 3. The modern version of Seirogan is in an easy-to-dilute liquid capsule.
The original version of Seirogan is known for a strong smell unique of its own attractive to older generations but offensive to younger generations who are not used to overly druggy smells.
The modern version of Seirogan is reportedly free of the Seirogan-smell and just as effective as the original against diarrhea. The manufacturers are marketing the new version to help boost their share of antidiarrheals.
Seirogan Quick C in 16 capsules sells at major drugstores across the nation for 1000 yen for a quick cure for acute diarrhea.
Seirogan was first marketed in 1902 and the latest version was Sugar-Coated Seirogan marketed in 1966. Seirogan tops in the list of general OTC and is by far the best-selling antidiarrheic among popular household medicine.
The antidiarrheic market in Japan is drifting around 11 billion yen in the recent years with no major brand on the horizon. The aged consumers of Seirogan are falling in population and competitive private brands are fast catching up. The turnover of the Seirogan series is stuck at 3.8 billion yen.
Taiko's another new antidiarrheic "Pisshato Pills" is doing rather poorly. Seirogan Quick C is being marketed to recover the overall turnover of the Seirogan series. Seirogan Quick C is due to be marketed in China, Taiwan, South Korea and the United States. (Nathan Shiga)