— Latest update: July 2022 —
Quasi-drugs are medicines for the purpose of prevention of symptoms and hygiene: they have a weaker effect on the human body than medicines. Some products, such as nutritional drinks, shampoos, and hair-growth products, are considered “quasi-drugs”, whereas skincare products that are less effective than “quasi-drugs” are classified as cosmetics.
This different category of products, which doesn't have an EU counterpart, imply vastly different standards and regulations than other pharmaceutical products. Pre-marketing approvals, registration of ingredients and means of manufacturing are highly regulated for these over-the counter products. Thus, EU companies need to consider a variety of new aspects for their implementation on the Japanese market.
National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCACOJ), What is the difference between cosmetics and quasi-drugs? 2017 .
JPMA, Pharmaceutical Laws and Regulations in Japan
> For more information on Cosmetics, please visit our specific sectorial page
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